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

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Acton 1939

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Acton]

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There were only 50 cases of Scarlet Fever reported in the
school population in 1939, and the cases were very mild in type.
There was a great difference in the incidence of Infectious Diseases
in Acton apparently due to evacuation—the scattering of the child
population resulting in no cases of Measles, very few cases
of Diphtheria, and a big drop in the number of cases of Scarlet
In Acton in 1937 there were 134 cases of Scarlet Fever.
in 1938 there were 108 ,, ,, ,, ,,
in 1939 there were 50 ,, ,, ,, „

The cases were distributed as follows:—

Acton Wells_Priory7
Beaumont Park12Rothschild3
Derwentwater6Roman Catholic-
John Perryn18West Acton1

None of these cases occurred after the outbreak of war.
There were only 3 cases of Diphtheria reported in the school
population in 1939. They were distributed as follows:—
Acton Wells 1
Beaumont Park 1
Southfield 1
Two of these children had not been previously inoculated against
Diphtheria,—one had been inoculated 3 years previously.
Endeavours are still being made to continue to protect the school
and pre-school population against Diphtheria but, not unnaturally,
the figures for 1939 are very poor. It is impossible to give the percentage
figures of inoculated children in our schools, as the data
are so upset by evacuation.
As stated in the Annual Report of 1938, the post Schick test
has been dropped and children are given an extra inoculation in
place of it. Parents are advised to continue to have their children
given one inoculation every three years until admitted to the Senior
School, after which all children are Schick tested before additional
inoculations are given. It has been impossible to gauge how the
scheme has worked, as 1939 was not a normal year and no conclusions
can be drawn, but the cases of Diphtheria were few and
the procedure found to be much less of an ordeal for small children
than the methods previously adopted.
Inoculation figures for 1939 are given as under.