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

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Hammersmith 1924

Annual report of the Medical Officer of Health of the Borough of Hammersmith for the year 1924

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55
allowed to come into contact with all parts of the wound, and
should then be washed out with water or dilute disinfectant.
If no disinfectant of the kind is available, the wound should
be thoroughly washed and irrigated with hot or cold water.
Where it is possible to get the immediate services of a doctor
the treatment should be placed in his hands.
2. If the diagnosis of rabies in the dog is confirmed, or
notice is received from the Minister of Health that the case
should be regarded as one of rabies for purposes of treatment,
the person bitten should be urged to secure specific antirabic
treatment as soon as possible, no matter what local
treatment has been applied to the bite. Arrangements for
anti-rabic treatment should be made through the Medical
Officer of Health of the district in which the patient resides.
3. Persons bitten by stray dogs or by dogs exhibiting
unusual behaviour should at once inform the police with a
view of the necessary inquiries being made. By arrangement
with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the names
of all persons known to officers of that Department or to the
police to have been bitten by dogs suspected of being rabid
will be communicated at once to the Medical Officer of Health
of the district in which the bitten persons live.
4. As soon as information reaches the Medical Officer of
Health that a person in his district has been bitten by a dog
suspected of being rabid, the facts of the case should at once
be reported to the Senior Medical Officer, Med. I, Ministry of
Health, with the following particulars:—
(a) Name, age and address of the person bitten;
(b) Date when bitten;
(c) Severity of the bite and part of the body bitten; the
report should state whether the bite penetrated
through the skin and caused bleeding;
(d) Name and address of owner of the dog, or other information
which will enable the dog to be identified;
(e) Whether rabies in the dog has been diagnosed
locally.
5. On receipt of information from the Medical Officer of
Health the Minister of Health will ascertain the opinion of
the Veterinary Officers of the Ministry of Agriculture and
Fisheries on the facts in their possession regarding the suspected
dog, and will inform the Medical Officer of Health if
the Veterinary Officers advise that the dog is to be regarded
as rabid. Should it happen, for reasons which are unavoidable,
that a definite diagnosis cannot be furnished
without delay, the Ministry of Agriculture have undertaken
to advise the Minister of Health whether the symptoms in
the dog are sufficiently suspicious to justify anti-rabic treatment
before the confirmatory diagnosis is available, and this
information will similarly be forwarded to the Medical Officer
of Health. The Medical Officer of Health should await


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