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Health of London During the Week


SOURCE: THE GLOBE and Traveller, Wednesday, May 26, 1852.

Globe and Traveller

Health of London During the Week.

(From the Official Report).

The total deaths registered in the metropolitan districts, which in the first week of May were 972, and in the second rose to 1,070 declined in the week that ended last Saturday to 943. The mean weekly temperature rose in the last three weeks from 48.1 deg. to 55.6 deg. In the ten weeks corresponding to the last, of the years 1842-51, the average number was 889, which, if raised in proportion to increase in population, become 978. The mortality of last week is therefore less than the estimated by 35.

In comparing the results of the last two weeks, there is a difference, greater or less, in favour of last week, in all the principal classes of fatal disease. Although smallpox is gaining ground, and there seems to be a good deal of scarlatina, the mortality of epidemics in the aggregate declined from 234 to 228; of tubercular diseases from 200 to 189; of diseases of the heart from 45 to 33; but the principle reduction occurs in diseases of the organs of respiration, which in the previous week were fatal in 469 cases, in the last in 131. Bronchitis, belonging to the last class, has declined in the last two week from 79 to 50. Phthisis of the tubercular order has fallen from 142 to 129.

Of epidemic disorders, small-pox carried off 38 children and 6 adults. The corrected average is 18. It is only reported in three cases, those of a boy aged one year, and a boy and girl severally 4 years, that vaccination had been previously performed. Next in fatality are scarlatina and hooping-cough, each of which destroyed 42 lives. Typhus, synocha, &c., number 41 cases, and rheumatic fever 3. Croup carried off 10 children, measles 12, thrush 2, noma 1. Diarrhoea was fatal in 14 cases, dysentery in 2, purpura in 2, erysipelas in 7, syphilis in 1. The diseases incidental to childbearing were fatal to 10 women, 5 of whom sunk under puerperal fever.

Three deaths occurred in the Smallpox Hospital, of which the following are the particulars:-On 16th May a glass painter from Priory street, Camden town, aged 22 years, "smallpox, confluent, unprotected (15 days)." On 16th May a labourer from Jenning's buildings, Kensington, aged 24 years, "smallpox, confluent, unprotected (15 days)." On 22d May a female servant from Little Camden street, St. Pancras, aged 31 years, "smallpox, confluent, unprotected (7 days)."

At 17, George yard, Islington, on 21st May, the son of a labourer, aged 6 years, died of "variola confluens; exhaustion." Mr. Butterfield states that "within a month there have been 20 cases of smallpox in this court, which has no supply of water, is entirely without accommodation, and wretchedly drained.

At 70, Shoe lane, St. Andrew's, on 17th May, the daughter of a tailor, aged 4 years, died of "variola confluens." Mr. Nason, the registrar, adds that "the whole family, consisting of four, have been attacked with small pox. Two have not been vaccinated, and of these one died; the others are going on favourably." On 20th May, at 3, Gas court, in the subdistrict of Old street, the daughter of a labourer, aged 9 years, died of "smallpox (10 days), not vaccinated." Mr. Austin mentions that in this case "vaccination had been delayed, and the child at the age of 2 years had smallpox, and thereafter was considered to be quite safe." At 9, Queen's place, New street, Lambeth, on 17th May, the son of a smith, aged 4 years, died of "smallpox, confluent (8 days), without previous vaccination." Mr. Wheatley says: "None of the children in this family, numbering four, have been vaccinated; the oldest, who is about 10 years old, was inoculated some years ago. The two younger were sickening from the complaint when I called. The mother did not approve of vaccination, but I think became convinced when the benefits resulting from the operation were pointed out."

At 37, Brompton crescent, a girl, aged 5 years, died of "scarlatina maligna (5 days)." Mr. stone observes : "This is the second death in the family within 8 days. An open drain at the back part of the crescent and adjacent houses has been frequently complained of, but hitherto without effect. There can be no doubt of its being prejudicial to the health of the neighbourhood."

In Somers Town, on 19th May, at 11, Grafton place, the son of a stonemason, aged one year, died of "pertussis (6 Weeks), convulsions followed by coma (7 hours)." The drains (says Mr. Matthews are reported to be very bad.

At the Royal Hospital, Greenwich, eight pensioner died between the 13th and 20th May inclusive, the youngest of whom was 64 years, and the eldest 81 years, whilst their average age at death was 74 years.

In the sub-district of St. Mary, Marylebone, at No. 5, Seymour yard, on the 14th of May, a groom, aged 33 years, and his son, aged 5 months, died of phthisise. The father and his child died within a few hours of each other. The son of a mariner, aged 10 weeks, was suffocated by a portion of food getting into the trachea; died in five minutes. On 11th April, at 1, Bulstrode court, Cavendish square, a boy, aged 5 weeks, was "starved to death." Post mortem. (Inquest.) On 3d May, a labourer, about 30 years, was found dead in Copenhagen fields, having been suffocated on a clump of burning bricks. (Inquest.) A girl aged 7 weeks was accidentally suffocated in bed. On 19th May, the daughter of a shoemaker, aged 21 years, died of chorea, after six years' illness. A woman, aged 52 years, died of "pyrosis (18 months), haematemesis."

Last week the births of 711 boys and 749 girls, in all 1,460 children, were registered in London. The average number in seven corresponding weeks of the years 1845-51 was 1,331.

At the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, the mean height of the barometer in the week was 29.740 in. The mean temperature of the week was 55.6 deg., which is 1.1 deg. above the average of corresponding weeks in ten years. The mean daily temperature was above the average on every day of the week, except Friday and Saturday. On Sunday and Tuesday, when it was highest, it was about 59.2 deg., or more than 3 deg. above the average. On the last two days of the week it fell to about 52 deg., or more than 3 deg. below the average The wind, which had been variable, but for the most part in the south or south-west, during the former part of the week, blew from the north-east and north on the last three days.