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

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London County Council 1905

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

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Cerebro-Spinal Fever.
The occurrence in Northamptonshire in 1905, of groups of cases of cerebro-spinal fever, among
which four cases terminated fatally, led the Local Government Board to communicate to medical
officers of health copies of a memorandum on this disease, prepared by the Board's medical officer,
Mr. W. H. Power, C.B., F.R.S. Deaths attributed to this disease are from time to time registered in
London: thus in 1902, four such deaths were registered ; in 1903, six ; in 1904, six ; and in 1905, five.
Of the five cases in 1905, three were of children under one year of age and two of children from one to
five years of age. These cases occurred in the months of January, February, May, July and November.
In some districts, copies of the Board's memorandum were distributed to medical practitioners, and
medical officers of health were called to suspected cases. In Battersea, a boy aged 14 years died two
days after an illness in which the symptoms pointed to cerebro-spinal meningitis, but neither the
diplococcus intracellularis nor the tubercle bacillus were found. Other cases to which attention was
directed by medical practitioners were not deemed to be cases of this disease.
Three deaths were attributed to anthrax. The first occurred in April and was that of a dock
labourer, aged 42, employed in Stepney. The second was that of a skin sorter, aged 47, living at
Walthamstow but employed by a firm in the City. He died in the London Hospital. The third, who
was 39 years old, was that of the wife of a waterside labourer. She had been handling wet and
damaged China hides at St. Olave's Wharf, and was infected in the cheek. Three other cases, none
of which was fatal, are mentioned in the annual reports. The first of these was that of a market clerk
employed by a firm in the City, who had been engaged in inspecting hides on a wharf on the south
side of the Thames. The second was that of a Bermondsey labourer, who had been employed in
carrying hides and who was infected in the neck. The third, also a Bermondsey resident, worked
on piles of dry foreign hides.
Six deaths were attributed to glanders during the year 1905, viz.:—
An ostler, aged 33, died during March. He was employed by a firm of carmen in Limehouse.
There was no clinical evidence that the horses with which he was in contact were affected with the
A horsekeeper, aged 52 years, died in Fulham. He was employed in stables belonging to an
omnibus company in Fulham. Three horses with which he had been associated were found to be
suffering from glanders.
A carman's wife, aged 44 years, died in June. Her husband was employed ty a milk company in
Westminster. She was in the habit of feeding horses subsequently found to be suffering from glanders.
A horsekeeper, aged 45 years, died in August. He was employed by an omnibus company in
Westminster. There was no clinical evidence that the horses with which he was associated were at
the time affected, but horses in the stables had recently suffered from glanders.
A carman, aged 33, died in Lambeth in August. The cause of death was notified to be
" chronic glanders three years."
A carman, aged 21 years, died 'in August in Stepney. He was employed by a firm of carmen
in Wapping. There was no clinical evidence that the horses with which he was associated were
suffering from glanders.

The tables published in the annual summary of the Registrar-General, deduced from observations at Greenwich, under the superintendence of the Astronomer Royal, show that the mean temperature of the air in 1905 was 49.9 deg. Fahrenheit, or 0.8 deg. Fahrenheit above the average of the preceding 50 years. The rainfall during the year amounted to 23.03 inches, a decrease of 1.50 inches on the average of the preceding 50 years. The temperature and rainfall in each month of the year 1905 are shown in the following table:—

Month.Temperature of the air.Departure of mean monthly temperature from average of 50 vears, 1855-1904.Bain.
Absolute maximum.Absolute minimum.Mean for month.Number of days it fell.Amount collected.
deg. F.deg. F.deg. F.deg. F.Inches:
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