State of Spalding’s health in 1915

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Around 70 people suffered from tuberculosis in this district in the year from 1914 to 1915.

A report from Dr A W Tuxford, Medical Officer of Health to the Holland County Council, said of those who had received sanatorium benefit during the year, 12 died, six left the district, six returned to work, in four cases treatment was discontinued and 41 cases remained under treatment.

The doctor reported: “I am still more firmly convinced that the disease will never be thoroughly controlled unless the advanced cases are always removed permanently from confined and overcrowded quarters, and unless a minimum amount of cubic space per person in the sleeping accommodation of houses be fixed by legislation.”

The war was having an impact on the health of people locally, both in terms of funds and in available manpower.

For instance, there were no suitable applicants for the post of tuberculosis officer and the war had delayed schemes designed to improve public health.

The doctor said infectious disease had become more prevalent, with 679 cases reported during the year, and with a large increase in notifications of scarlet fever in the Boston urban and rural districts.

He added: “The possibility of various forms of infection being conveyed by house flies is becoming more clearly recognised. The matter has been brought before councils by several medical officers of health. In Spalding posters have been issued calling attention to the risks to health.”

He advocated the adoption of the Notification of Births Act, the establishment of milk depots in suitable localities, and greater care in the methods of refuse collection and disposal by the sanitary authorities.