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

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St James's 1883

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

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57
hamper the Asylums Board in performing the very difficult task
laid upon them by Parliament of providing hospital accommodation
for the infectious sick throughout the Metropolis.
Letters were also subsequently received from the City of London
Union and the Guardians of the Holborn Union, condemnatory of
the constitution and administration of the Board; but no action
was taken in either case.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES.
The arrangements made with the Guardians for the removal to
the Hospitals of the Metropolitan Asylums Board of poor persons,
above the class of paupers, suffering from infectious disorders have
been continued. Patients desiring hospital treatment and in a
position to pay for their maintenance are received at Highgate
Small Pox Hospital and Islington Fever Hospital respectively.
In the event of an outbreak of any such disease, information and
assistance in the way of removal and disinfection may be readily
obtained by Parishioners at the Vestry Hall, Piccadilly.
CHOLERA.
In anticipation of the possible appearance of cholera, which
happily was not realised, a handbill giving plain directions for
maintaining houses in a sanitary condition was prepared by the
Medical Officer of Health, and circulated throughout the Parish.
As these directions are applicable for all time, a reprint thereof is
appended:—
Infectious diseases, especially Cholera, Diarrhoea, etc., are best prevented
by precautions which may be summed up in one word—cleanliness.
In the Parish of St. James the conditions are such that with reasonable
care on the part of householders, there is little danger of Cholera, if
imported, being able to effect a lodgment. Attention however, is called
to the following simple precautions:—
1. Cleanliness in the drinking water is of the first importance.
Water drawn from surface wells by ordinary hand-pumps should
be avoided. Public pumps of this kind have long been done


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