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

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London County Council 1958

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

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The notification rates of tuberculosis were slightly lower than in 1957, and death
rates showed the same general trend. Deaths from pulmonary tuberculosis under
25 years of age and all deaths from non-pulmonary tuberculosis are now so few that
considerable random fluctuations occur in the rates from year to year. The number of
cases on the registers remains practically unchanged, the figure has been about 38,000
for the past four years. The diagram on page 28 shows the trend of notifications, deaths
and numbers on the registers of chest clinics over the last decade.
The services provided by the Council as local health authority and described in
detail in my report for 1955 for the care and after-care of tuberculous patients and the
prevention of tuberculosis continued to be available during the year. They are summarised
for the years 1953-58 in Table T9 (page 34). A third hostel for 32 homeless
infective tuberculous men was opened in July, 1958, at Knight's Hill (LambethNorwood).
The voluntary tuberculosis care committees associated with most of the 29 chest
clinics in London continued their valuable work of assisting patients and their families
financially or in other ways where help was not available from official sources. The
Council's local tuberculosis care organisers act as secretaries to these committees.
The numbers of children vaccinated during the year under the Council's scheme:
for the B.C.G. vaccination of susceptible (tuberculin negative) child contacts of known
tuberculous patients, diabetic children and thirteen-year-old school children are shown
in Table T12 (page 36).
In addition to the B.C.G. vaccination schemes other preventive measures arranged
by the Council include the chest X-ray of all newly appointed staff who are likely to
work in close and frequent contact with children, staff and senior pupils at the Council's
occupation centres for mentally deficient persons Table Til (page 36) and of positive
tuberculin reactors discovered among thirteen-year-old school children tested with a
view to B.C.G. vaccination.
Epidemiological investigations are made among the contacts of cases or tuberculosis
notified from among the children, staff or residents in the Council's establishments.
Similar investigations are carried out at secondary schools where the tuberculin positive
rates disclosed by tuberculin surveys are significantly higher than the average for
secondary schools in the area. (See Table T8, page 33.)

Table T1—Tuberculosis—Statutory notifications and deaths—Administrative County oj London, 1949-58 (a)

YearPulmonary tuberculosisNon-pulmonary tuberculosis
Statutory notificationsDeathsStatutory notificationsDeaths
No.Annual rate per 1,000 livingNo.Annual rate per 1,000 livingNo.Annual rate per 1,000 livingNo.Annual rate per 1,000 living
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(a) Excluding posthumous notifications.

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