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CITY OF BOSTON.
CITY PHYSICIAN'S OFFICE,
TO THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BOSTOX.
The undersigned respectfully
R E P O R TS:
That there have been vaccinated, during the past quarter in the office, one hundred and fifty-three.
Examined and furnished with certificates, to enter the public schools, one hundred and forty-six.
Physicians belonging to the City gratuitously supplied with virus, seventy-five.
The County jail has been regularly attended, as usual.
During the past quarter there has not been a single deat breported from Small Pox, nor have I known of any cases of sickness from this disease since August last.
Under the influence of a very general resort to vaccination among the citizens, and by private practitioners as well as at this office, we have at last, for the first time for several years, obtained a period of entire immunity. The whole number of persons who have been vaccinated during the past year, as nearly as can be ascertained, in this city, including those vaccinated in this office, (2,062) is upwards of ten thousand. This is a satisfactory return, considering that it is more than double that of the increase of population by births. One third of the surplus may be referred to re-vaccinations, leaving the balance, or nearly three thousand vaccinations to be done for children old enough to attend school, and for adult strangers who are constantly arriving here from various parts of the adjoining states, many of whom have never been previously or thoroughly vaccinated. The number of supplies of vaccine, during the past year, (683,) to physicians residing in the city, shows the importance of this office as a source of supply of an agent possessing qualities at once so valuable and so evanescent.
But while we congratulate ourselves upon these facts, and upon a season of otherwise general health, we have to regret the visit of an epidemic of Scarlet Fever, which, commencing in the autumn, had up to the first of January carried off more than four hundred persons, and which is not yet concluded.
The City Registrar's returns furnish us „with significant emphasis, the same facts they have already done in other years, in relation to a disease against which, whatever may be asserted to the contrary by enthusiastic theorizers, we have no such adequate protection as we have against Small Pox, and which, in its malignant form, proceeds, too often unmodified by the best treatment, to a fatal result.
These returns show, in the most decisive manner, the influence of locality and other external conditions, which, by the ample powers of the Board of Health, are capable, in a greater or less degree, of removal or material modification. In Ward One, for example, the number of deaths from Scarlatina, has been sixty-eight; while in Ward Four, there have been only nine. This is a single illustration of a constantly recurring fact, not only in regard to epidemics, but in regard to the more ordinary causes of death. Where the district is overcrowded, where the tenements are badly drained and ventilated, there the mortality is enormously disproportioned to the population, while the reverse is the case under the opposite circumstances. And there is no doubt that, of the whole average general mortality, at least from a fifth to a quarter is due to causes which it is certainly within the power of sanitary legislation to prevent. One practical way to accomplish so desirable a result would be, the passage of ordinances, like those passed by the English Parliament upon the recommendation of the General Board of Health, which would prescribe, in distinct and definite terms, the mode in which tenements for the lower classes and lodging should be constructed and occupied, and to declare those which do not, on inspection, come up to the requisite standard, as to their sanitary condition, to be untenantable.
The construction of "model" dwellings, like those in Osborne Place, on a sufficiently extensive scale, would accomplish much in aid of the execution of such regulations.