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

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Coulsdon and Purley 1944

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Coulsdon]

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permit, however, it, is hoped to. follow the more ideal practice of
both testing arid .enhancing immunity in all cases.
Since the end of the year the free issue of A.P.T. to
General Practitioners has been introduced, T.A.F. being still
issued at cost price when required.
The following are the figures showing the number of
children treated at the clinics end schools during 1944:
Number of sessions held during 1944 71
Number of children who commenced treatment 433
Number of children who completed treatment 326
Number of Schick tests made 62
Total number of attendances 1,199
Number of visits 5
Number commencing treatment 1
Number completed treatment 17
Number of Schick tests made 4
2. Measles and Whooping Cough.
In July 1943 the, Council authorised the supply of
Placental serum for the prevention of Measles to the General.
Practitioners, at cost price, except in respect of children under
three years of age where the family income was below a specified
and very low level. No advantage was taken of this not veryattractive
offer, however, until early in 1945 and it has now
been decided to issue for a trial period ofr6 months this
material free of charge in respect of any child under 3 years of
Unfortunately the usefulness of this serum is very
limited as it has to be given within a few days of exposure to
infection, the interval and dosage being varied according to
whether it is desirable to prevent the disease absolutely, but
only for a few weeks, or to produce a modified attack with a
resultant immunity of much longer and possibly life long duration.
It will be appreciated that The Doctor does not always see the
case at the right time and even if he does there is always the
doubt whether the child has or has not been infected by exposure.
If, to this uncertainty is added the probability of an appreciable
percentage of failures and of local or general reactions it
can be realised why the attempt to prevent measles by this method
is likely to be confined to special cases until a mora reliable
material is made available. . .
Similarly the present vaccines used to prevent
Whooping Cough have not reached that degree of ???,
either as to their effectiveness in preventing the disease or in
the durability of any immunity they may provoke, as to encourage
official recognition, although they are being quite widely used
in general practice.
The case rate for new cases of Pulmonary Tuberculosis
which had steadily increased from 56 per 100,000 of population in
1939 to 6l, 68 and 90 in. 1942, dropped to 75 in 1943? but in 1944
the Upward tendency was again continued, rising to 101, The
average case rate from 1915 to 1924 was as high as 115 but from
1925 to 1938 it had fallen to 80 and even as low on average as
58 for the 5 years preceding the war. In other words there were
relatively nearly twice as many new cases of Pulmontery Tuberculosis
during 1944 as in the years immediately preceding the war.
On the other hand the non-pulmonary Tuberculosis case
rate fell from an average of about 17 per 100,000 for the last 7
years to 14.

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