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

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Stepney 1938

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Stepney]

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Zymotic Diseases.—The total deaths from diseases of a Zymotic character
was 87, or 17 more than in the previous year. They include all deaths from
Small Pox, Scarlet Fever, Diphtheria, Typhoid Fever, Measles, Whooping
Cough and Diarrhoea. The death rate was .43 per 1,000 of the population.
Influenza.—The number of deaths was 7, or 66 less than in the previous
year. As usual these occurred in elderly persons. The death-rate for the
whole Borough was .03 per 1,000 of the population.
Cancer.—The number of deaths from cancer was 343, or 12 more than
in the previous year. The death-rate for the whole Borough was 1.7 per
1,000 of the population.
26 were under 45 years of age—5 males and 21 females.
148 were between 45 and 65 years of age—74 males and 74 females.
117 were between 65 and 75 years of age—63 males and 54 females.
52 were 75 years of age and over—28 males and 24 females.

The organs and parts of the body affected were as follows:—

Mouth, Throat and Alimentary Canal3610
Other abdominal organs5659
Generative organs15
Lung and Pleura166
Other specified organs5854
Other undefined

Food Poisoning.—20 cases were notified, or 10 more than in the previous
Small Pox.—No cases of small pox were notified during the year and it
was not found necessary for me to take action under the Public Health (Small
Pox) Regulations, 1917.
Measles and Whooping Cough.—The County of London (Measles and
Whooping Cough) Regulations, 1938, came into force on 1st October throughout
the whole of London, and by this measure the Stepney (Measles) Regulations,
1935, were suspended. By the new regulations Whooping Cough is
made notifiable in addition to Measles; that is to say, every case of measles
or whooping cough, provided it is the first case occurring in the house within
two months. The Stepney (Measles) Regulations, 1935, applied only to
measles occurring in children up to the age of 5 years. The new Regulations
apply to all ages in both diseases. The very large number of notifications
resulting from the new Regulations must be borne in mind when comparing
the total number of infectious diseases notified in Stepney before 1938, with
corresponding totals occurring in later years.
Measles.—The Biennial measles epidemic occurred this year. 844 cases
were notified. There were 17 deaths, the death rate being .08 per 1,000 of
the population.