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

View report page

Hornchurch 1959

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hornchurch]

This page requires JavaScript


Infectious and Other Notifiable Diseases, 1959.

DiseaseTotal cases notifiedNo. of Cases hospitalised
Food Poisoning223
Infective Hepatitis114
Ophthalmia Neonatorum20
Poliomyelitis (non-paralytic)33
Scarlet Fever2468
Typhoid Fever11
Whooping Cough631
match: ALTO ComposedBlock
..\18 March 2013\Folder 13\b19792426\Tables\b19792426_0041_039_022.xml

The main feature of the year was possibly the absence of cases
of paralytic Poliomyelitis and a reduction in non-paralytic cases from
8 to 3.
It being a Measles epidemic year the number of cases increased tenfold
as compared with 1958 and the incidence of Scarlet Fever almost
doubled. Measles has lost much of its sting and with its complications
controlled as they now are even an epidemic creates no alarm. This,
however, is a disease as yet uncontrolled by any preventive inoculations.
Scarlet Fever in my view is overdue for removal from the list of
infectious diseases. Should circumstances change it could well be
restored. At present it is merely a particular type of infection, the
incidence of which is in no wise reflected by the number of notifications
since a vast number of streptococcal sore throats are never brought
to medical notice. Its control is made well nigh impossible because
of the impracticability of maintaining a bacteriological check on the
cases and because of the absence of any logical minimum isolation
period (not to mention the fact that many so called isolation arrangements
are to say the least of doubtful adequacy). Like some other
infectious diseases, it is an example of the theoretical and the practical
control being incompatible.
It is gratifying to note the year's findings on Poliomyelitis, although
with a disease so unpredictable, the figures represent exactly what they
stand for, i.e., the record for one year, and cannot be interpreted in
terms of further outlook.
It is also pleasing to see that at any rate sporadically keen public
interest is being shown in immunisation. I believe that public health
staffs enquiring into cases and interviewing close contacts should have
been given a really practical degree of priority in protection. I cannot

Diagnostics: Check ALTO | Check in player