London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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Port of London 1912

Report for the year ended 31st December 1912 of the Medical Officer of Health for the Port of London

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31
lodging-house in Poplar, and not feeling well, went to a dispensary there. The doctor
who saw him decided that the case was Small-pox. The man was removed to the South
Wharf Shelter of the Metropolitan Asylums Board. Meanwhile the vessel had sailed for
Leith to undergo general overhaul. The owners of the vessel, and Medical Officer of
Health for Leith, were communicated with as to precautionary measures of disinfection.
The s.s. "Princess Clementine"(Belgian) arrived on the 7th April, 1912, from
Naples, having landed a case of Small-pox at Palermo. All necessary disinfection was
carried out. Every person on board was well on arrival, and no further cases have
occurred.
The s.s. "Theseus,"of Liverpool, 127,933, arrived at Gravesend on the 1st April,
1912, from Yokohama. On the 27th February, a distressed British seaman from
Hong Kong, consulted the surgeon, complaining of "prickly heat."A diagnosis of
probable Small-pox was made, which was confirmed by the Port Medical Officer at
Singapore. The patient was removed there. The quarters were disinfected at Singapore,
and all the Chinese crew and steerage passengers were re-vaccinated. Six other cases
occurred. On arrival at Gravesend all on board appeared to be in good health.
The s.s. "Clan Sutherland,"of Glasgow, 106,037, arrived on the 30th April, 1912,
from Marmagoa. On the 3rd April a Native quartermaster was taken ill with pains in
the head, and a rash, accompanied with fever. On the 10th April he Avas seen by the
Port Medical Officer at Aden, who thought the case was suspicious of Small-pox. The
patient was isolated on board, and on the 13th April was able to resume duty. The
bunk and effects were thoroughly disinfected, and all persons were found well on arrival.
The s.s. "Culna,"of Glasgow, 124,164, arrived at Gravesend on the 23rd June,
1912, from Bombay, having had four cases of Small-pox on board during the voyage.
All necessary disinfection was carried out, and no fresh cases have occurred. The names
and addresses of all persons leaving the vessel in London were taken and notified. On
arrival at Gravesend all were medically inspected, and no suspicious symptoms found.
On the 31st October, 1912, I received information that a child named Peter Philp,
whose father is employed on the s.s. "Kirkcaldy,"had died at Kirkcaldy, and that the
disease was reported to be Small-pox. The vessel was kept under strict observation
while in this Port, and unsuccessful efforts were made to vaccinate the father before the
vessel returned to Kirkcaldy.
The Norwegian s.s. "Lesseps"arrived at Gravesend on the 28th October, 1912,
when a case of Small-pox was removed therefrom to Denton Hospital. The contacts,
together with all effects, were removed to Denton Hospital for disinfection. All the
crew were vaccinated, and the ship was thoroughly disinfected. The vessel was kept
under daily observation during its stay in the Port, and no further cases had occurred
when the vessel sailed for Hamburg on the 29th October. The names and addresses of
all those leaving the vessel, including the Pilot, were notified.
The s.s. "Medina,"of Greenock, 131,849 arrived on the 21st December from
Bombay, having landed a case of Small-pox at Port Said on the 9th. The cabin was
thoroughly disinfected, and all infected bedding, &c., destroyed. Immediate contacts
were vaccinated. No further cases occurred and all were found well on arrival in
London. The names and addresses of all the passengers and crew were nbtified.


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