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

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St James's 1859

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for St James's, Westminster]

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diarrhoea carries off but 1 victim in the winter
and spring quarters, but takes 13 in the
summer, and 6 in the autumn quarter. Hooping
cough has its least fatal period during the hot
summer months, and its greatest harvest during
the changeable weather of spring. Scarlet fever
carries off more victims in the autumn and winter
quarters than in the spring and summer, whilst the
spring and summer are most favourable to measles.
Altogether, the spring and the summer quarters are
most favourable to zymotic disease; 76 deaths occur
in these two quarters against 45 in the autumn and
winter. This is confirmatory of the view that the
animal poisons which produce contagious disease
require, like animal and vegetable germs, a certain
amount of temperature to render them active.

The zymotic diseases of the year, distributed over the three districts of the parish, are as follows:—

Names of Disease.St. James's Square.Golden Square.Brewer Street.Total.
Small pox1124
Scarlet Fever & Diphtheria5161031
Hooping Cough58922

Although not the most striking from the number
of its victims, the most alarming of these forms of

The time of the year at which this mortality has occurred will be seen by the Table now presented.

Name of Disease.First Quarter.Second Quarter.Third Quarter.Fourth Quarter.Total.
Small Pox1214
Scarlet Fever1266832
Hooping Cough2151422