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

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Chiswick 1898

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Chiswick]

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Puerperal Fever.
One death, two notifications.
Three deaths, 52 notifications.
This complaint caused 45 deaths. It was as
usual most prevalent during August and September,
more especially with children under five years of age.
Absence of rainfall, with a high temperature of 60
degrees or over, a polluted atmosphere with artificial
and injudicious feeding, are the chief causes of this
From this complaint there were 31 deaths. It is
not included in the diseases which are required to be
notified. It was very prevalent during the first five
months of the year, and it is to be regretted that
comparatively little care is taken by parents among
the poorer classes to prevent the spread of it, considering
it is as inevitable as teething. It must,
however, be allowed that it is difficult to prevent
measles from spreading, it being infectious from an
early stage, if not from the commencement of an
attack. The circumstances in which many of the
poor live in this parish and elsewhere, two or more
families occupying one house and using a common
staircase, almost preclude the possibility of isolation.
Again more care might be taken in order to protect
the patients against secondary affections of the lungs,
etc., which are as a rule the immediate causes ot
death. I have no doubt that many lives might be
saved if it were practicable to isolate the little

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