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

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Mile End 1888

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Hamlet of Mile End Old Town]

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close the school or to exclude any scholar from attendance."This
they did with the result that the school was shut up for a time, after
which the disease subsided. This epidemic was by no means confined
to one locality, for on referring to the Registrar General's Report I
find that during the quarter ending Dec. 1888, the death-rate from
Measles throughout the Country was not only more than 50 per
cent. higher than the average rate for the preceding four quarters, but
higher than any single quarter of the last 18 years.
The number of cases of this disease was 34 for the twelve months,
most of which occurred during the quarter ending March, 1889,
doubtless owing to the severe changes of the weather and to exposure.
I am only surprised that the mortality from this disease is not greater
considering the careless way in which many children are treated, neither
isolation nor medical attention being sought until some such complication
as Inflammation of the Lungs takes place.
The deaths from this disease were 24. In my report two years ago
I said then "it is to be regretted that the Local Government Board do
not authorise the reception of cases of this disease to the Asylum Board
Hospital.'' Since then representations have been made by the Society
of Medical Officers of Health, and many of the Vestries of the Metropolis
to the Local Government Board, with a view of these cases
being admitted to the Asylum Board Hospital, as it is the opinion of
scientists that Diptheria is one ol the most contagious diseases with
which we have to deal. I am happy to say that on the 24th October
last, the Local Government Board approved of the reception of such
cases to the aforesaid hospital and from that date to the end of the
year 96 cases were admitted.
Only sixteen deaths took place from this disease, a very small number
indeed for a district like Mile End, and on all these cases coming to
our knowledge the drainage and sanitary condition of the locality was
at once enquired into. We had only 19 other cases notified to us
from the various sources.
The following List show the various streets in which the principal
Zymotic diseases occured.
Sidney Street. Edward Road. Mile End Road

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