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

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Acton 1911

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Acton]

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Dr. Newsholme, on the other hand, from the observed facts
in connection with breast-fed children, with infants fed on condensed
milk, and from a comparison of the fatality experienced
by infants fed on milk produced near the town, came to the
conclusion that the infection was domestic.
In support of the latter view, it may be pointed out that
diarrhceal mortality does not rise in June and early in July, notwithstanding
the exposure of outside milks to high temperature.
Of the 64 artificially-fed infants who died in Acton last year,
27 had cows' milk, 23 had condensed milk, 4 had patent foods, and
10 had cows' and condensed milk.
In connection with domestic infection, a good deal of attention
has recently been paid to the possibility of conveyance of infection
by the common housefly. Many observers maintain that flies are
important factors in causing summer Diarrhoea, and in support of
their argument state that:—
1. Houseflies are present in great numbers in houses prior
to primary attacks of Diarrhoea in infants, although not in all.
2. Houseflies have been shown, by means of bacteriological
examination, to convey infection.
23 illegitimate children died under the age of 12 months. This
corresponds to an infantile mortality of 535 per 1,000 illegitimate
One thousand four hundred and sixty nine births and 28 still
births were notified during the year
515 were notified by doctors, 782 by midwives and 200 by one
of the parents.

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