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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Small Pox and Vaccination.--The prospect which
exists of " stamping out" as it is called, Small Pox, is still
a matter upon which the inhabitants may fairly be congratulated.
During the past three years, the mortality
from this dreaded malady has gradually declined, and in
the year under review gave but little signs of its presence
amongst us. If the infant population continues to be
brought under the protective influence of Vaccination with
the same vigilance as it appears to have been by recent
reports, it will contribute very largely to bring about the
wished-for result, the complete abolition of the disease.
Ages at Death.—The mortality from diseases which
more especially afflict infants and young children, has
been greater by 7 than in the previous year, 89 being the
number registered in 1872, and 96 in the past year ; but
this increase can scarcely be wondered at seeing the many
unfavourable atmospheric changes against which the
delicate frames of children have had to contend during a
considerable portion of the past year. The deaths of
persons of middle age, i.e., between 40 and 60 years of
age, also underwent an increase from 40 to as many as 5 5 ;
those of persons at 80 and upwards were registered in 17
instances against 13 in the previous year, and amongst
these latter 4 persons died above 80, and 3 between that
age and 100 years, the oldest being 94.
Social Position.—The greatest amount of mortality
is found as usual to have occurred amongst the poor and
labouring classes, the deaths amongst them being within
4 of the number of the three classes above them combined.
Of the Union Poor exclusively the ratio of deaths to
cases treated was 19 in 135—a somewhat large per centage
compared with that presented by some of other Subdistricts
(vide Table Y Appendix).
Inquests, Violent, Sudden, and Uncertified Deaths.—
The Coroner officiating in this locality held 8 inquests
during the year. In 4 of these Disease of the Heart was