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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on the
No. LIV.
The registered mortality of the Parish, during the five weeks ending
the 28th of September, was 255. The mean of the previous five years,
corrected for population, is 252. The unusual warmth of the two first
weeks of the month appears to have contributed to the continuance of
the summer diarrhoea, which proved fatal to 37 individuals, of whom
33 were under three years of age.
Scarlet fever has been on the increase in most parts of the Parish ;
judging by the returns of the Parochial Medical Officers, the poor in
the neighbourhood of the Hornsey Road and Queen's Road, and those
in St. Mary's Ward appear to be the principal sufferers. The spread
of this disease is less than many others under the control of measures
of public hygiene, although overcrowding and filth evidently promote
its diffusion, and putrid miasmata impress a fatal character on its
attacks. But when it is considered that the poison or matter of
infection attaches itself with the most remarkable readiness to articles
of dress, bedding and furniture, nay, even to the very walls of the
room, and adheres to them with a pertinacity perhaps scarcely equalled
by any other morbid poison, one can easily see that a principal proventive
of the disease must consist in the institution of measures of a

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