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

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Hampstead 1914

Report for the year 1914 of the Medical Officer of Health

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Don't have Flies in your House. They are among the most filthy
things known. They are born in filth, they live in it, and they carry it about.
Flies are maggots before they are flies, and could not exist but for the presence of
filth, such as dead animals and decayed refuse.
Flies carry thousands of disease germs with them, and by contaminating your food
may cause serious illness.
From the time a fly's egg is laid until the time when it becomes a full grown fly
is little more than a week. Don't let refuse linger about long enough for this.
The cleaner the house and its surroundings, the less flies there will be. Dirty
houses have many flies.
Don't eat where flies are, or shop where flies are tolerated.
Cover all food. especially milk.
Don't allow any dirt to collect in rooms, or allow decayed matter to be about
the back yard.
Dust-bins must be kept covered.
If the dust is not removed regularly, or if the back yard is unpaved and filthy, write
to the Medical Officer of Health.
Any manure near your house should be removed every day.
Catch the flies that enter your house. Use sticky fly papers. A good poison for flies
is the following:- One teaspoonful of formalin to a half-pint of water, or milk and water,
and a little sugar. Pat it in saucers with a small piece of bread in the saucer for the flies
to alight on and drink.
If there is no dirt, there are no flies. Many flies mean careless house-keeping.
Copies of this handbill may be obtained on application at the PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT,
Town Hall, Haverstock Hill. N.W.
FRANK E. SCRASE, Medical Officer of Health.