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

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Acton 1904

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Acton]

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Scarlet Fever.
One hundred and twenty-nine cases were notified
against 76 the previous year, but there was only
one death, showing that the disease was of a mild type.
Too much stress cannot be laid on the fact that the
germ that causes Scarlet Fever is found in the throat,
and discharges from the nose and ears long after apparent
convalescence. It is very important for parents and
others to keep their children more or less isolated for a
week or two after their return from hospital, and to
collect all discharges from nose and ears on rags and
burn them, and on no account to allow kissing.
No hospital has, so far, succeeded in avoiding return
cases, or even in materially reducing them, merely by
increasing the length of stay in hospital. In the investigation
of return cases of Scarlet Fever, made on behalf
of the Metropolitan Asylums Board, it was found that in
only 27 per cent. was there reason to suspect the
desquamating cuticle as the source of the infection, and no
less than 80 per cent. of the cases, which on discharge
from hospital had given rise to infection, had discharges
from mucous membranes, 40 per cen. having a nasal
Enteric Fever.
Eight cases were notified during the year, and three
of these proved fatal. This is a marked contrast to the
previous year, when, owing to a milk epidemic, 40 cases
were notified.
Some recent experiments by Professor Klein show
that oysters contaminated with sewage containing
typhoid bacilli clear themselves more rapidly when kept
in sea water than when kept in the dry state. However
largely infected, the oysters at no time presented any
sign of such infection to the eye.

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