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

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Strand (Westminster) 1898

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Strand District, London]

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consumption and its prevention.
Consumption may be prevented:—
(1.) By measures which will improve the general health of
the community, such as the provision of dwellings, to
which air and sunlight can have free access, improvement
in the ventilation of workplaces, removal of insanitary
conditions generally, and the promotion of temperance ;
(2.) By precautions to prevent the germs of the disease
Special Precautions.
A case of Consumption may be made practically harmless to
others by preventing the matter coughed up drying to dust. This
may be effected : —
Out-of-Doors by a consumptive person spitting into a small widemouthed
bottle with a well-fitting cork, or into a special pocket
spittoon. The bottle must not be emptied into dust-bins but the
contents poured down the W.C. at least twice a day, and
immediately afterwards washed out carefully with boiling water,
A little disinfectant added to the bottle will keep flies away.
Indoors.—A bottle may be used, or the consumptive may spit
into pieces of rag or paper which should be at once burnt. A
consumptive person must not spit about the house or work-place, in
cabs, omnibuses, tramcars, railway carriages, or public places (such
as theatres, churches, schools, &c).
Care should be taken by patients not to soil the clothing, face
or hands, with the expectorated matter. It should always be spat
out into a bottle or paper and never swallowed, as by so doing it
may infect other parts of the body.
If a handkerchief or other article is soiled with the expectorated
matter, it should be kept wet until it can be boiled and washed.
All cups, spoons, knives, forks, &c., used by consumptive persons