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

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Bethnal Green 1944

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Bethnal Green Borough]

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DISEASE The following figures show the general trend throughout the war, but it will be borne in mind that the years 1939-41, were considerably affected by the evacuation of a large part of the child population:

1936-38 average193919401941194219431944
Measles(254) +23187489786357172
Whooping Cough(410)31210345160193184
(250) +
Other notifiable infectious disease951566272309288478112
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+ In view of the biennial incidence of these diseases, separate
figures for 1957 and 1938 are given instead of the triennial

There was a reduction in the incidence of practically every disease except Pulmonary Tuberculosis which showed a slight increase from 85 to 110 cases.

1936-38 average193919401941194219431944
Unsound Food Seizures2_13__1
Samples of Food taken724690559557578520500
% of adulteration (all samples)
% of adulteration (milk samples)
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As explained last year, the increase in the number of unsound
food surrenders does not represent any deterioration in the
conduct of the food trades but is mostly due to the facts that
retailers have to surrender any unfit food, however small the
quantity, in order to recover the points value under the rationing
orders and that so much more canned food, which has often to be
stored for long periods, is now being consumed.
The heavy incidence of war damage in the borough has not
only substantially reduced the number of houses under inspection
but has inevitably lowered the enforceable standard of sanitary

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