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

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Lambeth 1926

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

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N.B.—The incidence.rates and death.rates per 1,000 of the estimated populations are as follows :—

MeaslesGerman Measles
Incidence. rateDeath.rateIncidence. rateDeath.rate
Lambeth Church16.140.290.630.00
Norwood4.0702 10.01

The comparative large number of 2,819 notified cases of children
under five years (i.e., 52 47 per cent. of the total) during the year
1926 is again noticeable and is explained by the fact that many
children are infected at their homes by their older brothers and sisters,
who have contracted the disease at school. School influence is,
therefore, indirect, as well as direct, in connection with the spread of
Measles (and, of course, of other infectious diseases).
The Metropolitan Asylums Board have decided to offer more
hospital accommodation for urgent Measles cases, reducing, proportionately,
the Scarlet Fever accommodation. This decision is experimental
and is based on the fact that the mortality amongst Measles patients
is much higher than that amongst Scarlet Fever patients. The amount
of isolation institutional accommodation for Measles is in no sense adequate,
and arrangements have been made with nursing organisations
for the visiting by nurses at the homes of notified patients, on
instructions by the Medical Officer of Health, under the Lambeth
Nursing (Infectious Diseases) Scheme. This visiting of infected houses
by nurses is, undoubtedly of value, in so far as the treatment of
patients is concerned. Nursing is everything in a case of Measles, and
many lives may be (and have been) saved, and much subsequent
dangerous illness avoided by the timely assistance and help of the
nurses employed. Further, the official visitings of the infected houses
by the Sanitary Inspectors, and the ensuring of the exclusion from
schools of both patients and " contacts " by the systematic sending of
written communications to the head.teachers of the schools concerned,
and the leaving at the infected houses of the official pamphlets and
disinfectants, have been of the greatest use, from an educational