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

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Hampstead 1913

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hampstead, Metropolitan Borough of]

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In view of the number of cases that are reported to me by school
teachers and others, and the fact that the number of deaths that have
occurred since 1901 exceed those that were due to measles, I suggested
to the Public Health Committee the desirability of issuing leaflets as in
the case of measles, drawing attention to the precautions that should be
observed, and urging on parents and others the necessity of taking
proper care of patients. The Council agreed to the recommendation of
the Public Health Committee, and I accordingly drew up the following
leaflet: —
Public Health Department.
Whooping cough is a very infectious and if neglected very fatal
In Hampstead every year more than four times the number of
children under 5 years of age die from whooping cough than from
scarlet fever. From this its dangerous character is obvious, and it
must not be treated lightly.
In whooping cough a hard sharp cough gradually becomes more
noisy, and occurs in sudden attacks ; accompanied by a peculiar whoop
or crowing noise when the child draws in its breath ; the child is very
often sick with the cough.
When whooping cough is about, every child with a cough should
be regarded as a pos-ible sufferer.
Prevention of Spread of Infection.
The only safe plan is at once to get medical advice in every case;
it is wrong to wait until the child is really in danger before doing this.
When a child is attacked, it should at once be put by itself in a
warm, well-aired room, and should not he allowed tojattend school, &c.,
or to associate with other children.
All discharges from the eyes, mouth and nose are infectious from
the first. The matter COUGHED OR SPAT UP by the patient should
be received into a piece of CLEAN PAPER OR RAG, and should at

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