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

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Port of London 1907

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Port of London]

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A handbill under this Article, as follows, has been issued to the owners of
ships coming from infected ports, and one of these handbills will be placed by
the Medical Officers at Gravesend, on all ships coming from ports infected
with Plague.
"The Local Government Board have issued Regulations for the
"prevention of the introduction of Plague, Yellow Fever and Cholera
" into this country, and whereas by such Regulations it is provided,
" inter alia, as follows :—
" 'The master of a ship which by reason of Plague is an infected ship,
" 'or a suspected ship, or which has come from, or has, during the voyage,
" 'called at a port infected with Plague, or in which there are rats infected
" 'with Plague, or in which there is or has been during the voyage an
" 'unusual mortality among rats, shall, under the direction and to the
" 'satisfaction of the Medical Officer of Health, take all such precautions
" 'or employ all such means for effectually stopping the access of rats
" 'from the ship to the shore as in the opinion of the Medical Officer of
" 'Health are measures reasonably necessary for the prevention of danger
" 'arising to public health from the ship.'
"This is to give notice that, in my opinion, given under the Regulation
"aforesaid, the following precautions are reasonably necessary for stopping
"the access of rats from the ship to the shore :—
1. "All ropes and mooring tackle for securing the vessel either to the
"shore or mooring buoys, shall be fitted with metal brushes, funnels, or
"other effective guards, the portions of such ropes and mooring tackle
"leading from the vessel to a distance from the vessel's side of at least
"four feet shall be coated each night with fresh tar. Ropes may, if
"desired, be protected by a covering of canvas or yarns before tarring.
2. "When not engaged in discharging cargo, one gangway only shall
"be permitted to afford means of communication between the ship
" and the shore.
3. "The end of the gangway near the ship shall be whitened for a
"length of 10 feet, and the watchman shall keep the gangway pulled in
"board after sunset.
4. "When alongside the quay, the ports on the side of the vessel
" nearest the quay shall be kept closed after sunset.
5. "All empty cases and barrels, especially those from the store
"rooms, shall be examined before being landed, to ensure that no rats
"are contained therein.

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