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

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Leyton 1904

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Leyton]

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A perusal of the following table is of interest:— Causes of Infection.

Eating Oysters2
Complained after cleaning out dirty gully1
Eating Ice Cream1
In contact with previous cases6
Untraceable causes23
Cases removed from our District to West Ham Infirmary suffering from various complaints, but developing Typhoid within a fortnight of admission3
In West Ham Infirmary.
Occurred in Institution3
West Ham Union1
West Ham Union Schools1
In Bethnal Green Schools.
Case occurred.1

On inspection it was discovered that sanitary work was necessary
in 16 of the houses where Typhoid had occurred, and in 5 houses
repairs were necessary to defective drains. These are statements of
facts and are not given as being necessarily the cause of the illness,
though they doubtless had something to do with it.
The outbreak which commenced in 1902 never really quite left
the District until about the end of July, 1904, as is shown by the fact
that last year we had 3 cases and this year 10. The first case this
year was in February, that of a student at Livingstone College, who
contracted it while pursuing his studies at Poplar Hospital. In March,
a man is said to have contracted the disease while attending the funeral
of a friend who is supposed to have died of blood poisoning. In April,
there were three cases—first, that of a woman said to have contracted
it while attending a funeral at Plaistow ; secondly, that of a boy who
had been playing with children outside our District who ultimately
developed the disease; and thirdly, a case was notified to me which on
investigation, 1 certified was not one of Small Pox. In June, the next
case occurred, that of a resident of Ramsay Road, Forest Gate, of
which we were quite unable to trace the source of infection. In July,
another case; caught it from her brother, who had a very mild attack
of the disease which had not been diagnosed. Four other cases