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

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Camberwell 1924

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Camberwell.

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Caution to Parents.
Whooping Cough is an extremely serious disease and causes a very high
mortality amongst children. It is wrong for parents to regard whooping cough
of trifling importance. Many a child has lost its life in consequence of such foolish
What you should do. —At once call in a doctor. If treatment is neglected
death may result from lung complications.
Inform the Medical Officer of Health with a view to assistance in nursing and
the removal to hospital if possible. Keep the child in a separate room, but if this
cannot be carried out, in a separate bed. Do not forget to notify the Head
Teacher of the school attended by the child at once of the occurrence of a case
in your home.
How to prevent the spread of infection. —All children under five years of age
must be kept away from school, and prevented from mixing with other children
in the streets or elsewhere. Children who have had whooping cough and are
in the upper school may continue to attend. If they have not had the disease,
do not send them to school until three weeks from the date of commencement
of the illness of the last case in the house.
The child with whooping cough must not be sent to school until the
characteristic spasmodic cough and the whooping have ceased for at least two
weeks, or in cases of persistent whooping, in not less than six weeks from the
commencement of the spasmodic cough.
Remember that whooping cough is a highly infectious disease. All
handkerchiefs, clothes, towels, plates, cups, spoons, etc., used by the patient
are infectious, and must be disinfected before being used again. Boiling is the
best means.
As soon as the patient is recovered, the infected house and contents should
be disinfected. This will be carried out by the Council's disinfectors on application
to the Medical Officer of Health, 35, Brunswick Square, S.E. 5.
Venereal Diseases.
A circular letter from the London County Council on this
subject was considered by this Authority with reference to the
existing arrangements for publicity and propaganda work undertaken under their scheme for the diagnosis and treatment of
venereal diseases.
Part of this work has been in the hands of the National
Council for Combating Venereal Diseases, a grant being made by
the County Council towards the expenses of local propaganda
Committees, subject to conditions relating to co-operation with
the Borough Council's Public Health Committee.
This Council was asked to express its views as to the
advantages which have resulted, or are anticipated, from the
co-operation referred to, and as to the facilities for and the
advantages of propaganda, etc., work organised locally, and to
offer suggestions as to the means by which they could assist in
the carrying out of the work.
The matter was referred to me, and in a report submitted to
the Public Health Committee I drew attention to the very
important part that propaganda plays, not only as a preventive

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