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

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East Barnet Valley 1920

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for East Barnet]

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This closure appeared to have a very beneficial effect, for in
April the notifications fell to 20. In May, there were many cases
of Measles in Trent Park, girls and infants, 24 certificates being
received, consequently this School was closed from the 7th to the
24th May ; in June only 16 notification certificates were received.
During the first half of the year 369 cases of infectious diseases
were notified, in the second half only 50.
There were 39 cases of Scarlet Fever notified, 16 occuring in
December. Of these 13 were at an Institution in East Barnet,
each member of one side of the house became infected. Another
outbreak was amongst Boy Scouts from East Barnet, who occupied
one tent at Jamboree at Olympia in July; 7 of the 12 boys
became infected, fortunately the disease did not spread to their
homes as each boy was removed to the Isolation Hospital at
Barnet as he became ill, and the remaining 5, before being allowed
to return to their homes, were themselves and their clothes carefully
Every case of Scarlet Fever or Diptheria is removed at once
to the Isolation Hospital as a general rule, and the house of the
infected person disinfected within a few hours.
Antiloxius is kept at the Council Offices, and can be immediately
obtained, also material for obtaining bacteriological examination
of any patmological specimens.
The cases of Diptheria were not numerous, being 15 only and
fortunately there was 110 fatal one ; this disease has lost its terrors
since the anti-diptheria vaccine has been used ; if this vaccine
were given at once there should be no fatal end in any case of
Notification of infectious diseases may perhaps be considered
a doubtful advantage, but at least it enables one to take every
care to keep children in an infected house excluded from school,
and adults from attending business where they might possibly
spread infection.

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