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

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Hornchurch 1956

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hornchurch]

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A substantial increase is noted in Scarlet Fever and Whooping Cough
notifications, a much lesser increase in Dysentery and Food Poisoning.
This not being a year of high Measles incidence there was a very
substantial decrease in the number of cases of this disease and a gratifying
fall in Poliomyelitis notifications is also recorded.
The rise in Scarlet Fever cases is not really remarkable if one reflects
that it is a mild highly infectious condition whether with or without a
rash, has no specified period of isolation and on occasions it may be
questioned whether any prolonged isolation is practised at all. It
represents our most unsatisfactory disease to deal with administratively
and the only saving grace appears to be that it is mild in form with
few complications.
A special note was made on Infective Hepatitis during the year, viz:
This disease is notifiable under the Jaundice Regulations 1943 in
the Eastern Region and encouraged to some extent by a query from Dr.
Geffen of the Ministry of Health, I have analysed its behaviour in
Hornchurch during the past two years.
It will be recalled that a detailed report on a somewhat extensive
yet localised outbreak in the district was reported by me in 1954.
An attempt has been made in this instance to analyse the local
incidence of the disease as between the two years on a comparative basis
relating to various factors which might be shown to have a particular
connection with it, viz:
Number of Cases':

In 1956 there were thirty three cases and in 1955 twenty four.

Age of Cases.19561955
11 — 20531
31 — 40222
41 — 50211
51 — 60143
Over 6012

It will be observed that in 1956 no pre-school child was attacked
although in fact five 6-year old and five 7-year olds were affected.
In the later age groups it is evident that nine people over 50 contracted
the disease in 1955 as against two the following year.