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

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Coulsdon and Purley 1956

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Coulsdon]

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Ideally the whooping cough vaccine is best given on its own
starting in the third month but as this would involve many injections
in the first year, on balance it appears sound to advise the use
of the triple antigen, starting at three months of age if no poliomyelitis
is occurring in the immediate neighbourhood. If the risk
of contracting poliomyelitis is greater than normal it is probably
safer to give whooping cough vaccine alone, reserving the prophylatic
treatment against diphtheria and tetanus until the following
Residents are advised on the best methods of disinfection to
adopt and where it is thought desirable they are assisted professionally.
In general the efficient use of soap and water in
cleansing the surroundings is adequate if coupled with the boiling
of personal linen, after it has been soaked in a disinfectant solution,
and the exposure to the sun of materials likely to be otherwise
For the convenience of ratepayers, the Council has decided to
arrange disinfection even when this is not essential to the public
health, but in these cases the following charges are made:—
£1 per load of bedding, etc., 5s. for the first room and 2s. 6d.
for each additional room disinfected at the same time.

During 1956 the following disinfections were carried out:-

Free of cost.Upon payment.Total.
Loads of bedding, etc31334
Houses disinfected3434
Parcels of clothing
Library books493493
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Many preventive measures depend upon an early and correct
diagnosis which can only be made as a result of a bacteriological
examination. The co-operation of the Public Health Laboratory
at West Hill House. West Hill Road, Epsom, is often of paramount
importance and their increasing efficiency and willing assistance
is greatly appreciated.

During 1956 they examined and reported on the following specimens:—

Milk, ice cream, and water samples434
Food utensils106
Nose and throat swabs18
Ear swabs1
Vaginal swabs1
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