Hints from the Health Department. Leaflet from the archive of the Society of Medical Officers of Health. Credit: Wellcome Collection, London
[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Port of London]
|Date.||Name of Vessel, Port of Registry and Official No.||Where from.||No. of Cases.||How dealt with.|
|Aug. 14||ss. " Beltana," Greenock, 131,853.||(Outward Bound)||1||Removed to Port Sanitary Hospital.|
|„ 15||ss. " Neuralia," Glasgow, 133,081.||Calcutta||3||Isolated on shore.|
|Sept. 23||ss. " Karmala," Liverpool, 135,590.||Yokohama||2||Removed to Port Sanitary Hospital.|
|„ 28||ss. " Jervis Bay," Sydney, 150,187.||Sydney||2||Well on arrival.|
|Oct. 10||ss. " Euripides," Aberdeen, 133,648.||(Outward Bound)||1||Removed to Port Sanitary Hospital.|
|„ 18||ss. " Ormuz," London, 144,399.||Brisbane||1||„ „|
Since August, ships arriving in the Port, especially from Calcutta, declared
many cases of a mild epidemic disease, diagnosed as Dengue Fever, as having
occurred during the voyage.
Thus on the 29th August, 52 cases ; 10th September, 24 cases ; 13th September
2 cases ; 23rd September, 6 cases and one death. 24th September, a ship declared
16 cases of Dengue with one fatal case ; the fatal case was in a passenger, who
was otherwise ill, and the death is probably referable to combinations of the former
state and the supervening Dengue.
The consensus of opinion as to diagnosis is in favour of Dengue, though in one
of the two fatal cases declared, the question lay between Dengue and Influenza.
Dengue is a continued fever of the tropics lasting a few days, the chief signs being
severe pains in the limbs, back and joints, and an eruption like measles. The
pains are of an agonising character. Alternative names are, three-day, seven-day
and break-bone fever.
The disease is only communicated by certain species of mosquito which are
not indigenous here.
On February 7th information was received from the Medical Officer of Health
for West Ham, that a man had been admitted to Whipp's Cross Hospital on the
4th, suffering from anthrax. The patient, an assistant foreman in the Skin Department,
London Docks, first complained of illness on the 1st February. He had
a boil; went to work the following day, returned home about noon and immediately
took to his bed. Became worse on the 3rd after being poulticed.
Enquiries were made in the dock, and it appears that the man was working
amongst sheep skins from about January 25th to 1st February. He did not handle
the skins, doing clerical work only. He is reported to have worked and handled
mohair, camel hair, and wool on the 20th January. Three weeks previous to his
illness he was handling Eastern wool and skins.
Another man had a similar boil, and medical attention was at once advised.
He was working amongst skins. This case proved not to be anthrax.
Anthrax notices and skin regulations are placed about the dock. Overalls
are worn ; towels, soap, water and disinfectant solution are available.