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

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City of Westminster 1937

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Westminster, City of]

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Cleansing of School Children.—Under an agreement with the London
County Council, school children from the boroughs of Battersea, Chelsea,
Fulham, Holborn, Lambeth, St. Pancras and Southwark attended for
treatment at the disinfecting station.
Among Westminster school children 448 cases of head lice, 2 of body
lice, and 41 of scabies were treated. In all cases the clothing was
disinfected, together with the bedding from their homes, amounting in
all to 2,080 articles. Children from the above-mentioned boroughs treated
for similar conditions were as follows: 110 for head lice and 30 for scabies.
Articles of clothing disinfected numbered 1,170. The total number of
attendances of school children for baths at the disinfecting station was
1,355. Notices from the London County Council in respect of verminous
children numbered 32 and 50 visits of inspection were paid to the families

The following table shows the total number of individuals treated at the station for verminous conditions:—

Table LXXII.—Cleansing of Verminous Persons.

1937.Head lice.Body lice.Scabies.Total.
Children (including those under school age).558285645

Eradication of bed bugs.—The Ministry of Health in Circular 1650
ask for information as to the action taken during the year for the eradication
of bed bugs, including particulars of the number of Council and other
houses found to be infested, the methods employed for disinfesting
houses, and for ensuring that the belongings of tenants are free from
vermin before removal to Council houses, and as to measures taken by
way of supervision or education of tenants to prevent infestation or
re-infestation after cleansing.
Infested Houses.—The number of Council houses (flats) found to be
infested was 50 and of other houses 351. All were disinfested, the
work in the case of the Council houses being carried out by the Council's
staff and in the others by the owners or occupiers.
Methods for disinfesting houses.—The methods in use for disinfesting
flats in the Council's dwellings include fumigation by sulphur, the removal
of woodwork and other projections on the walls, and the application of