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

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Lambeth 1908

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Lambeth, Metropolitan Borough of]

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land by the following steamships: s.s. "Viking" 5, s.s.
"Sperbia" 1, s.s. "Zara" 3, s.s. "Wologda" 5, s.s.
"Romeo" 2, and s.s. "Schwalbe" 1.
No case of Plague, and no case of Cholera, were notified,
nor were any deaths registered, in London during 1908.
During 1908, 44 deaths were registered in the Borough of
Lambeth from Diphtheria, and a total of 320 cases were notified,
giving a case-mortality of 13.8 per cent. Of the 320
cases notified, 283* (i.e., 88.4 per cent.) were removed to
Hospital, and 38 died, giving a case-mortality of 13.4 per
cent. amongst the cases treated in Hospital; whilst 37 (i.e.,
11.6 per cent.) were treated at home, and 6 died, giving a
case-mortality of 16.2 per cent. amongst the patients treated
at home. The difference in the mortality rate as between
Hospital- and Home-treated cases is probably to be explained
by the fact that antitoxin is more generally used in Hospital
The case-mortality rate for the whole of the Borough of
Lambeth during 1908 is low, pointing to (1) the mildness of
the majority of cases notified, and (2) the great value of
antitoxin in the treatment of Diphtheria, especially in the
very early stages of the disease.†
The sudden decrease in the number of Diphtheria deaths
throughout the new Borough of Lambeth during 1908 is
again remarkable, as it was during 1907, 1906, 1905, 1904,
1903, 1902 and 1901, and will be seen, on comparison with
the yearly mortality average of the 10 years (1891-1900) for
*Of the 283 cases of Diphtheria removed to Hospital, 14 proved
at Hospital not to be suffering from that disease.
†43 bottles of antitoxin have been gratuitously distributed in
Lambeth Borough during 1908, as compared with 40 during 1907.

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