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 Lewisham]
Complaints have been recently made also of the accumulation of refuse at back of Mr.
Selmes's fishmonger, partly consisting of decomposing fish, which is a most offensive
nuisance to the adjoining residents.
Tables of mortality, &c., are appended as usual.
|Week ending.||Weight of air. Barometer corrected. Mean inches.||Temperature of Air. Thermometer.||Prevailing winds.||Rainy days.||Amount of rain in inches.|
|Highest.||Lowest.||Mean of daily readings.|
|23||29.694||61.7||41.5||51.1||E. & N.E.||2||0.32|
I have the honour to remain, Gentlemen,
Your obedient Servant,
F. E. WILKINSON,
Medical Officer of Health.
Sydenham, 28th October, 1858.
By reference to the meteorological tables annexed, you will find that the mean weekly
temperature of the air for the last three weeks has been steadily falling, and under the
influence of this unusually cold weather (several degrees below the average for November),
the mortality of the district has increased, so that I have to record the deaths of 37
persons, whereas in 1856—7, respectively, the mortality amounted only to 23 and 29, so
that the mortality, even calculating for increase of population, is above the average.
This may be accounted for when I mention that 12 deaths have taken place from
diseases of the respiratoy organs alone.
Six deaths have taken place from epidemic disease, viz.:-
One scarlatina, Vicar's Hill, Lewisham.
Two ditto, St. John's Terrace, Lewisham.
One ditto, Cross Street, Lewisham.
One ditto, West Kent Park, Sydenham.
And one from epidemic diptheria in a house adjoining a stable at Forest Hill.
Scarlatina and measles are extremely prevalent in the district.
My attention has again been called to the water supply of Lewisham, from the existence
of epidemic disease in Cross Street, &c. Some of the houses here are in a dirty