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

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London County Council 1896

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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Whooping Cough. The deaths from whooping cough in the administrative county of London during 1896 numbered 2,934, compared with 1,485 in 1895. The death rates from this disease in 1895 and preceding periods were as follows—

Period.Death rate per 1,000 living.Period.Death rate per 1,000 living.

The mortality from whooping cough therefore in 1896 was nearly twice as great as the mortality
in the preceding year. The death rate in each year since 1840 in relation to the mean death rate of
the period 1841-96 is shown in diagram XIV. It is deserving of note that the death rate of each of
the last 12 years has been below the mean of the last 56 years.

The whooping cough death rate of London can be compared with that of other large towns England having a population of more than 200,000 inhabitants by reference to the following table— Whooping cough—heath rates per 1,000 living.

Towns.Ten years, 1886-95.1896.Towns.Ten years, 1886-95.1896.
West Ham0.670.59

It will be seen that in the period 1886-95 the London death rate exceeded that of any of these
towns except Manchester, Liverpool, West Ham and Salford, and in 1896 exceeded that of any except
Manchester, Birmingham and Salford.

The following table shows that the London death rate from whooping cough exceeded the death rates of all the undermentioned foreign cities in the period 1886-95 and exceeded all except Stockholm in 1896. Whooping cough—Death rates per 1,000 living.

London.60.652St. Petersburg.25.25
Copenhagen.45.25New York.27.22

In the year 1896, in the first quarter, the east group of districts suffered most heavily, the
central the least. In the second quarter the east group again had the highest death rate and the west
the lowest. In the third quarter the south group of districts suffered most severely and the west the
least. In the fourth quarter the central group of districts had the highest death rate and the west
again the lowest. For the whole year the east group had the highest death rate and the west the
lowest. Of the districts, Bethnal-green had the highest death rate (1.22), and St. James, Westminster,
the lowest (0.13).
1 See footnote (1), page 7.
1 See footnote (2), page 8.