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

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Wandsworth 1873

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Wandsworth District, The Board of Works (Clapham, Putney, Streatham, Tooting & Wandsworth)]

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Future generations will probably look back with
astonishment upon what will then be considered a wanton
waste of life occurring from this class of diseases in the
present day, as we of this generation look upon the days
of "The Plague,'' when thousands were swept off by the
various diseases then included in that term, and which
were the result of the utter absence of all sanitation.

From this point of view the following table of Zymotic diseases, causing mortality in this parish during the past year, is of great interest and importance:—

Small PoxMeaslesScarlatinaDiphtheriaCroupWhooping CoughFeversErysipelasDiseases of ChildbirthCarbuncleDiarrhœaCholera or Choleraic DiarrhœaTotal

In the year 1872 263 deaths were registered as
having occurred from Zymotic disease, showing a difference
in favour of 1873 of 25 cases, and this in a largely
increased population.
Only three diseases of this class showed an increase
in 1873 over 1872, namely, Fevers 13 cases, Diseases of
Childbirth 9, and Cholera or Choleraic Diarrhoea 4. The
mortality from Zymotic disease in 1873 was at the rate of
3-8 per thousand persons living; and rather more than
one-fifth of the entire number of deaths registered were
ascribed to diseases of this class.