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

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London County Council 1900

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

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not subsequently vaccinated. By applying the figures of the English life table of 1881-90 to the
number of children " unaccounted for " in respect of vaccination in each year of the period 18891898
it is found that approximately 25 per cent. of the children born during that period and surviving
to 1898 were unvaccinated. If these populations are applied to cases of small-pox properly
belonging to them received into the hospitals of the Metropolitan Asylums Board, of which 16
cases had vaccination cicatrices and 428 had no vaccination cicatrices, the attack rates are 21 per
million and 1,715 per million respectively. In other words, for every child attacked among those
having vaccination cicatrices 82 children were attacked who had no such cicatrices. The number
of deaths among the former class was nil, among the latter class 131, giving death-rates of 0 and
525 per million respectively.
The deaths from measles in the administrative County of London in 1900 (52 weeks) numbered
1,930, as compared with 2,141 in 1899.
The death rates from this disease per 1,000 living in 1900 and preceding periods have been
as follows—

Measles—Death rates per1,000living.


The death-rate in each year since 1840 in relation to the mean death-rate of the period
1841-1900 is shown in diagram VII., while the relation of measles mortality to season will be seen
on reference to diagram V. (B.), page 15, showing the average weekly deaths from this disease in
the 60 years 1841-1900.
If the London measles death-rate be compared with the death-rates of the following large
English towns it will be seen that in the period 1890-9 the London death-rate exceeded the deathrates
of all except Manchester, Liverpool, Salford, and West Ham, while in 1900 the London
death-rate was lower than any except Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, and Bradford.

Measles—Death rates per1,000living.

London0.6220 432Bristol0.460.62
Sheffield0.580.55West Ham0.630.48

The following table shows that the measles death-rate in London was higher than that
of any of the undermentioned foreign towns except St. Petersburg in the period 1890-9, and in
1900 was higher than that of any except St. Petersburg, Vienna and Rome.

Measles—Death rates per1,000living.

London0.6220.432St. Petersburg0.620.48
Copenhagen0.270.06New York0.290.24

In the distribution of measles mortality in London throughout the year 1900 the eastern
group of districts had the highest death-rate (0.58) and the southern the lowest (0.36). Among
the sanitary districts, Limehouse had the highest death-rate (1.43), and St. Martin-in-the-Fields
the lowest (—). During the first quarter of the year the measles mortality in London was 0.53 per
second quarter of the year the measles death-rate in London rose to 0.66 per 1,000 living, the
death-rate in the southern group of districts alone being below this average. In the third
quarter of the year the London death-rate declined to 0.29 per 1,000 living, the death-rate
of the central and eastern groups of districts being above the London average. In the fourth
quarter of the year the London death-rate further declined to 0.21 per 1,000 living, the deathrates
of the eastern and southern groups being above the London average.
1 See footnote ('), page 5. ' See footnote ('), page 5.