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

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Kensington 1898

Annual report on the health, sanitary condition, &c., &c., of the Parish of St. Mary Abbotts, Kensington for the year, 1898

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than that of 1896, the epidemic was not of so intense a
character for in 1896 no fewer than 160 deaths were registered
in the twenty weeks, January 26th to June 14th.
The deaths from this cause in the metropolis, as a
whole, were 3,075, and 306 above the corrected decennial
average (2,769): 2,571 of the deaths were registered in the
first half of the year (1,494 and 1,077 in the successive
quarters) and 504 in the second half, 236 and 268 in the third
and fourth quarters respectively.
Should Measles BE MADE A Notifiable Disease?—
In the early part of the year the County Council received from
the School Board, a communication urging them "to include
'measles' in the term 'dangerous infectious disease,' in order
that the local sanitary authorities might have power to proceed
against parents who send their children to school suffering
from measles." The said communication was based upon a
report from the School Board's medical officer, stating that
" several cases had come under his notice of children being
present at school whilst suffering from measles, and calling
attention to the fact that the local authorities have no power
at present to take any action in such cases." The Public
Health Committee of the Council, " before coming to any
decision in the matter," desired to " learn the views of the
London sanitary authorities," and therefore asked if your
Vestry " would be in favour of the extension to measles of the
provisions contained in the Public Health (London) Act, 1891,
relating to notification, etc., of infectious disease." It is
surprising to learn that children suffering from measles should
have been sent to school; such " exposure " one would think
must have been inadvertent; and to constitute an offence
under Section 68 (1) (a),the exposure must be wilful. Be this as
it may, I do not doubt that it would be useful to bring measles