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

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West Ham 1934

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for West Ham]

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Table indicating deaths from Scarlet Fever, Whooping Cough and Measles during the past eight years

YearScarlet FeverWhooping CoughMeasles

Scarlet Fever (Return Cases).
Cases occurring within the margin of one month from the
discharge of a case from Hospital to the same house were regarded
as "Return Cases." Of 996 admitted to Hospital, 52 or 5.2%
were associated with recurrent infections in this way. (See also
report of Medical Superintendent of Plaistow Fever Hospital,
pages 112-124.)
Owing to the increasing prevalence of Diphtheria, and
having regard to the severe form of the epidemic, in January,
1934, the Council agreed to the establishment of an Immunisation
Clinic in the Borough. Widespread propaganda was carried out
by means of posters exhibited on public hoardings, by instruction
of parents by the medical nursing staffs at the various Clinics in
the district, by talks in the homes, and distribution of leaflets by
Health Visitors, School Nurses and Sanitary Inspectors.
Previously this treatment had been carried out on application
to the Medical Officer of Health at the West Ham Lane Infant
Welfare Centre, and it has has been given for some years to
Scarlet Fever convalescent children in the Plaistow Fever
Hospital where consent is obtained from the parents.
In February, 1934, a definite weekly session was commenced
at West Ham Lane Infant Welfare Centre, but owing to pressure
of applications for this treatment it was found necessary to establish
three sessions per week in September, 1934; at each session
an average of 50—60 children were dealt with from September,
1934, to April, 1935. Written consent of the parents is obtained
in every case prior to the treatment being given; each child
receives three injections at weekly intervals, and is subsequently
Schick-tested three months later. The preliminary Schick test is
dispensed with, unless in exceptional cases.