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

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Deptford 1914

Annual report on the health of the Metropolitan Borough of Deptford

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It should be remembered in this connection that the ova of the fly,
when deposited on organic matter, may develop in hot weather through
the varioue stages to the adult insect in little more than a week. Hence
the importance of the frequent cleansing of receptacles for house refuse
and manure above alluded to. For the prevention of flies it is essential
to deal with their breeding places. Destruction of flies in a dwelling
is, however, also an important additional measure, and may be secured
by fly traps, fly-catching papers, or in other ways. An efficacious method
is the use of saucers containing a solution of formalin (one teaspoonful
to the half-pint of water, or milk and water) and a little sugar; a small
piece of bread being placed in the saucer as a place for flies to alight on
and drink. In living rooms these should be left out overnight, all other
vessels containing fluid being removed or covered over.
Handbills advising domestic cleanliness, destruction of refuse, etc.,
may usefully include directions for the destruction of flies.
The Board urge local authorities to consider at an early date the
question of taking such action as may be necessary and practicable in
their district on the lines indicated in the preceding paragraphs. While
they relate primarily to the prevention of epidemic diarrhoea and of
excessive infantile mortality, the measures to which attention is directed
above must in many other and important respects contribute to the
health and general welfare of the district.


1914.Average for previous 10 years.
Number of Deaths5052
Death rate per 1,000, Deptford0.460.45
The number of cases of Measles dealt with during the year was 480, as compared with the previous four years as follows:—

As the disease is not notifiable under the Public Health (London)
Act, 1891, the above figures do not represent the total number of
cases which have occurred in the borough, as our only sources of
information are notifications of exclusions from schools by the Education
Authority and voluntary notification by parents.
The same procedure is adopted in the case of Measles with regard
to disinfection as if it were notifiable.
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