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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occurred in the West Ham Workhouse. Of the above, 5 were
vaccinated in infancy and 2 unvaccinated. Three of these were
contact cases who had been vaccinated a few days before being notified.
The objection to having infants vaccinated was not so noticeable
this year, but there is still an inexplicable and wholly absurd reluctance
on the part of some of the populace to come forward to subject themselves
and their infants to this highly-necessary operation. Let me
give a few brief facts. Germany is freer from Small Pox than any
country in Europe. Why? we may legitimately ask ourselves.
Simply because vaccination and re-vaccination is compulsory in that
country, not, as has falsely been stated to be the case, because of a
more perfect system of isolation existing there. Small Pox would be
almost unknown in this world if everybody was properly vaccinated
and re-vaccinated, just as the famous Gloucestershire Dr. Jenner
noticed 100 years ago, there were some milkmaids who never caught
Small Pox. Those who, from constantly milking the cows, had got
sore places on their fingers and had thus become inoculated.
Forty-eight more cases than last year were reported, viz., 445
against 397, but against this I can report a very appreciable decrease
in the mortality, as only 6 cases ended fatally as against 13 last year.
This was doubtless largely due to the milder form of the disease,
which was most prevalent in September, especially in the Leyton

Table XIV.—Notified Cases of Scarlet Fever during the past Five Years, with the Percentage Mortality.

Cases Notified.Number of Deaths.Percentage Mortality.

Of the 445 cases, 148, or 33.2 per cent. occurred in the Leyton
Ward, 89, or 20 per cent., in the Leytonstone, 127, or 28.5 per cent., in
the Harrow Green, and 89, or 18.2 per cent., in the Cann Hall Ward.
The number of cases notified is 150, and the deaths 14, or 9.3 per
cent. This compares very favourably with last year's figures, when
the rate of mortality was 14.6, the decrease being chiefly due, as in
Scarlet Fever, to the milder form of the disease prevalent.