Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Romford RDC]
I received notice of 236 oases of infectious disease during the year. The different diseases are thus tabulated :—
146 of these cases were removed to the Isolation Hospital.
In the previous year 305 cases of infectious disease were notified,
showing a diminution for the past year of 69 cases. It will be noticed
that of this total of infectious disease, Scarlet Fever numbered 123.
The number of cases of those diseases more especially oonneoted with bad
sanitary conditions (Diphtheria and Enteric Fever) being 101.
The following is a succinct account of the different infectious
diseases requiring action by your sanitary offcials during the year. In
accordance with your instructions I have, since the time of receiving such
instructions, visited every case notified for removal to the Isolation Hospital,
before such removal, with the exception of a few instances of extreme
urgency, where speedy removal was essential to the welfare of the patient,
permission for such exceptions being granted by you, at my discretion.
In a subsequent part of this report I append particulars of all these cases.
I think this practice has been a judicious one as it has enabled me to
correct the diagnosis of some erroneously notified, and to obviate the removal
of others which could be safely isolated at home, thus saving, to
a considerable extent, the hospital expenses. In all cases of infectious
disease, the rooms occupied by the patients are disinfected by the
Sanitary Inspector after removal or recovery of the patient; and
in all cases, especially of Scarlet Fever, the bedding, etc., and all artioles
not able to be washed at home are removed in a specially constructed van
to the Isolation Hospital Disinfector, and returned home after disinfection.
Small Pox.—No case of this disease was notified during the year.
Scarlet Fever.—123 cases were notified. This disease did not assume
an epidemic form. All parts of the district were affected, in common
with other parts of the country and especially some adjacent districts.
The origin of many of these cases could not be traced, many of them
being no doubt, imported from distant localities. Some were infected
by personal oontact but these instances were comparatively few, the