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

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Paddington 1890

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Paddington]

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rate was 0.73 per 1,000 inhabitants, the average
annual rate during the preceding decennium (18801889)
having been 0.58.
In his Annual Report, 1889, the Registrar-General
remarks "it is noteworthy that while the mortality
from most diseases has in late years shown a large
decrease, the mortality from measles has on the other
hand, in three of the past five years, been in great
excess." During the last ten years, 1881-90, the
number of deaths from measles has greatly exceeded
that from scarlet fever, the notification of which is
made compulsory under the Infectious Disease
(Notification) Act, 1889. Of the 3,291 deaths from
measles in London in 1890, mostly of children under
5 years of age, a number nearly quadruple that from
scarlet fever, and the highest recorded during the
last 50 years, it may be safely affirmed that the
greater number were preventable. If preventable,
the very pertinent question arises why not prevented ?
Not only is no hospital provision made, except to a
very limited extent in Parochial Infirmaries, to prevent
the spreadof the disease by the isolation of patients, or
to protect them from the secondary affections which
occasion their fatality, but the notification of measles
is not even made compulsory.
Scarlet Fever caused 6 deaths—5 in St. Mary's
and 1 in St. John's Sub-district—equivalent to an
annual rate of 0'05 per 1,000 inhabitants, as compared

TABLE III.— Mortality at different Ages.

Sub-Districts.Under 1 Year.Under 5 Years.65 Years and Upwards.Percentage of Deaths of Infants under 1 year to Registered Births.Percentage of Deaths of Children under 5 years of Total Deaths.
St. Mary's38961436516.338.3
St. John's6611613212.923.1