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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of the character of the population, but at the same time the mortality was highest in
two of the lowest districts, viz.:—Balls Pond and the Irish courts. The greatest
number of deaths altogether occurred in the 4th quarter of the year.

Whooping Cough—Either immediately, or by its complications, carried off 209 children, 132 of whom were under 2 years of age. The mortality was highest in the following twelve districts, viz :—

Belonging to which Group.Districts.No. of Deaths from Whooping Cough.No. of Families to one Death.
iiiBattle Bridge1054.7
iiiQueen's Road8____92.1
iiiBalls Pond6118.2
iiiWhite Conduit5127.4
iiSt. Peter's10150.4
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This disease differed from scarlet fever in its more universal prevalence throughout
the Parish. The mortality spared only four of the districts, viz :—Hornsey Rise, Rydon,
and Duncan, belonging to the 1st group, and Irish Courts belonging to the 3rd group.
It is remarkable that the Irish Courts in 1860 had no fatal case of whooping cough.
1st, this, like scarlet fever, being a remarkably contagious disease and affecting chiefly
the very youngest children in a family, among whom also it is most fatal, we may
consider the table as representing also the prevalence of the disease; 2nd, the disease
was most fatal in those families which resided in some of the lowest districts, the first
six in the district enumerated belonging to the 3rd group. It selected, in fact, some
of the most crowded districts in the Parish, and (with the extraordinary exception
of the Irish Courts) spared none altogether but the best and least crowded.
Fever.—The number of deaths returned as from fever was 89, the same number
as occurred in 1856.
Bowel complaints, diarrhoea, dysentery, and cholera, together, carried off 153
persons. The corrceted mean for 5 years is 134 ; of these, 131 were under 5 years of
age, and 100 under 1 year, infants then who should have been at the breast. The
mortality was highest in the following districts:—White Conduit, Irish Courts,
Rolherfield, Shepherdess, Bemerton, Freehold, and Battle Bridge.
b. Constitutional Diseases.
13. The tubercular diseases are the most important of this class, they carried off
478 persons, or 3 out of every 1000 of the population, Of these 158 were infants.
From Phthisis in particular there were 329 deaths.

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