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

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Walthamstow 1936

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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The percentage of cases removed to Hospital in 1936 was 95.2,
against 92.7 in 1935. No case was refused admission, and whenever
possible pressure was exerted to secure the admission of all
cases to Hospital unless cases were of the non-clinical variety.
Home treatment of Diphtheria can rarely be adequate unless the
disease is extremely mild.
Antitoxin continued to be available for free issue to medical
practitioners at the Public Health Department during office hours,
and at all times at the Fire Station, Forest Road, and at Mr. Gaze's,
10, The Avenue, Highams Park. During 1936, a total of 81 phials,
containing 544,000 units of Diphtheria Antitoxin, and 16 phials,
containing 160 c.c.s of Scarlet Fever Antitoxin, was issued.
Diphtheria notifications have again shown a decline. In view
of the comparatively small number of immunisations carried out
in the area, it would not be fair to claim more than a contributory
effect for this practice. At the same time, in the absence of
immunisation to the extent of some 50 per cent. of the population
under, say, 15 years, the incidence of diphtheria will almost
certainly show an increase in future years.

The table below shows the number of immune (i .e., Schick negative and protected) persons each year, diphtheria notifications, attack rates and mortality:—

Year.Number immunised +Schick neg.Notified Cases.Attack rate per 1,000 population.Deaths.Percentage of deaths to notifications.
match: ALTO ComposedBlock
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Eight cases of enteric fever were notified in 1936 (two typhoid
and six para-typhoid B.).
The para-typhoid cases were notified between 29th January and
17th February. In spite of the most careful inquiries no connection
could be established between the cases and no source of infection
could be found.

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