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

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Hackney 1918

Report on the sanitary condition of the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney for the year 1918

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During the outbreak the following poster was placarded
throughout the Boroug:—
As this disease is prevalent in the Borough, and responsible
for many deaths, it has been thought desirable by the Public Health
Committee to issue the following few rules of precaution, and at
the same time to point out that everyone suffering from catarrh
or influenza is a likely source of infection to others, that some of
the persons so infected may die as the result of this infection,
and that it is the duty of everyone at the present time to observe
any rule which has for its object the prevention of the spread of
this disease.
1. Isolation.—Every person feeling ill or suffering from fever
during the prevalence of influenza should remain at home and
consult a doctor.
2. Personal precaution.—Infection is spread by the scattering
of droplets of mucus from the nose and throat during coughing and
sneezing. This should be prevented by the use of a handkerchief
which should after use be boiled, or, if of paper, burnt.
3. Relapses.—Influenza patients are very subject to relapses,
and pneumonia may occur as a complication. Relapse is less likely
to occur if the patient takes to bed at the first onset of symptoms,
and remains there until all fever has gone. During recovery, for
the same reason, chills should be avoided.
4. Complications.—These are often set up, especially pneumonia,
by a septic condition of the mouth or throat. Any such
condition of the teeth or throat should have special attention.
5. Nursing.—Good nursing is important in preventing complication
and in helping recovery from a severe attack.