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

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Islington 1861

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Islington, Parish of St Mary]

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One of the six deaths from summer cholera was so certified by Mr.
Gill: the patient was a domestic servant in Packington Street, she had
felt ill on the 29th, 30th, and 31st of July, and on the 31st had taken
a dose of medicine given her by a lodger; she felt pretty well on
August 1st, but in the evening was seized with diarrhoea and vomiting,
for which she obtained an astringent mixture; when Mr. Gill saw her
on the 2nd the discharges were stopped, so that their choleraic character
was not ascertained, collapse came on in the course of the night of the
2nd and she died early in the morning of the 3rd. On enquiry into the
sanitary condition of the house, the water cistern was found exceedingly
There have been registered 8 deaths from scarlet fever and 8 from
diphtheria, the weekly numbers from scarlatina being 1, 1, 2, 4, and
from diphtheria 0, 0, 5, 3. Tour cases of scarlet fever also have
appeared at the Infant poor house. The first occurred on the 16th in
a boy who had been in the house as long as 12 days. I know it must
be exceedingly difficult to prevent the entrance of infection from so
infectious a disease as this into such an establishment, but no pains
should be spared and no precautions should be considered too minute
to bar its entrance, or when it has entered to prevent its spread and its
recurrence at some future time. The last time this disease obtained a
footing in the Infant poor house was when the disease was very
prevalent outside at the close of the year 1858.

The following table continues that of the previous month.

Aagust.Mean Temperature. (Greenwich.)Parish cases of Diarrhoea, &c.Deaths from Diarrhoea and Cholera.
1st week67.6°652°62.4°63.8°58.2°61.0°406929951549610510610
2nd „66.1°63.7°65.4°63.9°56.3°64.4°1027426601459111147713
3rd ,,66.9°65.1°63.3°63.9°57.8°65.3°1018346642457145126918
4th „57.8°66.9°59.266.6°57.5°61.2°81993665168214522411
64.6°65.2°62.5°64.5°57.4°62.903243251372846924 4453123252652
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Medical Officer of Health.
Vestry Offices,
September 3rd, 1861.

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