Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Finsbury Borough]
Comparative Table.—The following table gives comparative figures of deaths in children under 5 years from measles, whooping cough, and other infectious diseases:—
|Period.||Measles.||Whooping Cough.||Smallpox||Scarlet Fever.||Diphtheria|
From this table it appears that the deaths in 37 years due to
scarlet fever, diphtheria and smallpox, all taken together numbered
565, to whooping cough 875 and measles 1,516.
In children under five years, therefore, it seems that measles
kills nearly three times the number of children whose deaths are
caused by smallpox, scarlet fever and diphtheria all combined.
Whooping cough alone causes many more than the number of
deaths accredited to these three named infectious diseases. And
the matter does not end here. Measles leaves behind it a moderately
large number of patients with discharging ears. Some of these
die in later life when the discharge has invaded the brain and
caused meningitis. Others suffer in varying degrees from complete
or partial deafness and chronic lung disease.
A special Health Visitor is appointed in epidemic times to
visit notified cases of measles in the Borough.