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

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St Pancras 1904

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for St. Pancras, London, Borough of]

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40
BODY-LICE.
Body-lice (pediculi corporis) cause a disease known as phthiriasis or pediculosis
of the body.
The treatment consists in (1) taking a hot bath and washing the whole body
thoroughly with soap ; (2) immediately afterwards when dried rubbing gently
over the whole body, except the face, a thin layer of stavesacre ointment; (3)
having the clothing disinfected whilst taking the hot bath and using the
ointment; (4) wearing the same underclothing, including jersey, drawers,
socks, and gloves, night and day; (5) going through this process on three
alternate days at least, as the eggs take some days to hatch out, and (6) then
after a third bath and the disinfection of the whole of the body-clothing-linen,
and under-clothing, the bed-clothing, bed-linen and bedding should be thorougly
disinfested, and in order that this may not be omitted the Attendant at the
Cleansing Station should be requested in writing to remove and disinfest the
bed-clothing, bed-linen, and bedding, and return them promptly.
HEAD-LICE.
Head-lice (pediculi capitis) cause a disease known as phthiriasis or pediculosis
of the scalp.
The treatment consists in (1) well washing the hair and head with soft soap
and hot water; (2) when dried, rubbing stavesacre ointment well into the hair
and well distributing it so that each individual hair and the scalp is covered by
a thin coating; and (3) men and children are advised to have the hair cut as
short as possible, and women as short as they dare, in order to get rid of the
nits or eggs which are attached firmly to the hairs, and which do not hatch out
for five or six days after attachment. A fine tooth-comb is sometimes used to
detach the nits, but it is not always successful. The washing and anointing
should be repeated at least three times on alternate days, and the pillow and
pillow-cases, hats, caps, and other head covering should be also washed or
cleansed or disinfected.
ITCH-MITES.
Itch-mites (acari scabiei) cause a disease known as scabies.
The treatment consists in (1) taking a hot bath and washing the whole body
thoroughly with soap; (2) immediately afterwards when dried rubbing gently
in over the whole body, except the face and scalp, a thin layer of sulphur
ointment so as to fill the crevices and burrows and choke the itch-mites in
their runs ; (3) having the clothing disinfected whilst taking the hot bath ; (4)
wearing the same underclothing, including jersey, drawers, socks, and gloves,
night and day ; (5) going through this process on three alternate days at least
as the eggs take some days to hatch out, and (6) then after a third bath and the
disinfection of the whole of the body-clothing linen, and under-clothing, the
bed-clothing, bed-linen, and bedding should be thoroughly disinfested, and in
order that this may not be omitted, the Atttendnnt at the Cleansing Station
should be requested in writing to remove and disinfest the bed-clothing, bedlinen,
and bedding, and return them promptly.


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