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

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Tottenham 1950

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Tottenham]

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Whooping Cough.
During the year there were -509 notifications of this disease,
and death resulted in 1 case. 39 cases with complications were
admitted to hospital.
As with other infectious diseases, the mortality rate for
whooping cough has dropped considerably over the past half century.
Whooping Cough Vaccination.
As reported in previous years, trials with whooping cough
vaccines are in progress in this area under the aegis of the Medical
Research Council,
The early trials have shown that some whooping cough vaccines
are effective, but on the other hand, considerable variations between
them have been observed. No reason for these differences
has been found and there is, as yet, no satisfactory laboratory test
of the potency of new vaccines. It is thought, therefore, that
the trials should continue, but that children in a wider age-range
should now be eligible for inoculation, and that all those eligible
should receive a whooping cough vaccine. There will, in other
words, be no "control" uninoculated group as in some areas in the
early trials.
A supply of vaccines has been made available by the Medical
Research "Council, sufficient to inoculate all children who are under
4 years of age in this area. As a specially selected proportion
of such children must be followed up over a period to determine the
value of the trial vaccines, inoculations will be given at Welfare
Centres only.
The selected children will be visited for 1-2 years after
inoculation and if they develop symptons suggesting the disease
nurse-investigators will take pernasal swabs in an effort to establish
an immediate diagnosis, A medical officer will also visit cases
if necessary.

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