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

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West Ham 1948

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

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Tuberculosis Officer.
SMALLPOX. No case of smallpox was notified during the year.
VACCINATION. On the introduction of the Health Service on July 5th compulsory
vaccination against smallpox ended but protection was offered in the Child Welfare Clinics
on the same voluntary basis as immunisation against diphtheria. Arrangements were also
made for general practitioners, wishing to do so, to carry out this function on behalf of
the Local Authority. The response to the end of the year was disappointing. The fact is
the public no longer fear smallpox-except on its occasional introduction from abroad
and it is difficult to persuade them of the value of vaccination.
The 'multiple pressure' method of vaccination used by your medical officers is painless
and sore arms are less frequent than with the older 'scratch' technique. These facts
may in time make for a greater popularity and it is intended later to review the position.
The following tables give particulars of vaccination carried out during the periods
before and after 5th July:-
1st January/4th July. 1948.
Number of cases in birth lists 2284
Number of certificates of vaccination received 1009
Number of certificates of postponement owing to: Health of child 132
Number of certificates under Section 2 of the Vaccination Act, 1898,
and number of statutory declarations under Section 1 of the
Vaccination Act, 1907 884
Number of certificates of insusceptibility or of having had smallpox 1
Number of casess:
Parents removed out of district 318
Otherwise not found 140
Number of entries in lists sent to public vaccinators 1055
5th July/31st December. 1948.

Number of persons vaccinated (or re=vaccisnated)

Age at 31.12.48 i.e. born in yearss:-Under 1 19481-4 1944/475-14 1931/194315 or over before 1934Total
Number vaccinated7955695
Number re-vaccinated-211821
match: ALTO ComposedBlock
..\25 March 2013\Folder 14\b19881526\Tables\b19881526_0008_006_004.xml

SCARLET FEVER. During the year 483 cases of scarlet fever were notified: this
gives a case rate of 2.78 per 1,000 total populations the figure for 1947 being 2.51.
While the case rate continues to show considerable annual variation the death rate has in
recent years considerably declined all over the country. There were no deaths from scarlet
fever in West Ham in 1948.
Until we know more of the epidemiology of the haemolytic streptococcus, which causes
the disease, firm control of the incidence is not possible; though the detection of
dangerous carriers may be very helpful in individual outbreaks.
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