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

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Battersea 1956

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Battersea Borough]

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Methods of Treatment:—
Scabies: Persons attending for treatment are given a hot bath
for twenty to thirty minutes, thoroughly dried, and Benzyl Benzoate
applied to the whole of the body. This is repeated on alternate days,
there being three treatments in all.
Verminous heads: The hair is treated with a preparation containing
cotton-seed oil, tar oil, paraffin oil and oil of lemon grass, and
then washed with a shampoo of soft soap and borax. It is then dried
thoroughly, combed with a Sacker's comb to remove nits, washed,
dried and combed again. The operation takes approximately half an
hour for each child, and a final check is made by the Sister in attendance.
The Council have two flats attached to the Personal Cleansing
Station for the temporary use in emergency of people or a family
displaced, usually following fumigating procedure. The Council have
agreed that these shelters may be used for Wandsworth residents at
an annual fee of £25 for the right to use the shelters and a weekly
charge of £1 10s. 0d. per shelter for every case sent there.
Disinfection and Disinfestation.
The disinfection plant at the Council's Disinfecting Station, Sheep'
cote Lane, comprises two large steam disinfectors, and disinfection is
carried out at 12 lbs. pressure and a temperature of 239° F. An
instrument charts the pressure and temperature during the process and
these records are kept.
Methods of Disinfection : Following the notification of a case of
infectious disease requiring disinfection, an inspection is made and the
following methods used. The patient's room is sprayed with a
formaldehyde solution. The doors and windows are closed and the
room can be used again after five or six hours.
Bedding and clothing are collected and steam treated at the StationSheets,
pillow cases and hand towels are exposed to formalin vapour in
a special chamber prior to being washed in the adjoining laundry.
Books and other articles which cannot be steam disinfected are
also treated by exposure to a formalin vapour.
Disinfestation of Verminous Rooms : Articles in the room requiring
treatment are removed for steam disinfestation. The room is sprayed
with an insecticide containing Pybuthrin and Lindane/D.D.T., which
gives a prolonged residual effect. In the case of a heavy infestation.
architraves and mouldings are required to be eased for deeper penetration
of the insecticide.
Control of Insect Pests: The construction by the Council of large
blocks of flats containing covered ducts taking hot water, plumbing
and drainage pipes has raised a problem of insect infestation. These
ducts form an ideal harbourage for insects which would be difficult
to deal with by normal hand spraying. A Microsol Mist Generator
has been purchased by the Council, and this fitting, having a small
motor unit, is capable of spraying a fine mist or fog of insecticide to
a distance of 50 feet, the mist settling out on to the surfaces of the duct
and the piping contained therein. This fitting is in use and is proving
very successful.