§ MR. GEOFFREY DRAGE (Derby)
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether scarlet fever has been prevalent in the Forest Gate 263 Poor Law School during the last year, and how many children have been affected thereby; and whether diphtheria or ophthalmia have been rife during the same period in other poor law schools?
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. HENRY CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
Scarlet fever has been prevalent in the Forest Gate School since August 1895. Seventy cases occurred during the last five months of 1895. It was an extremely mild type, and many of the cases were so slight that their nature was difficult to recognise. I am glad to be able to state that there was no death from the disease. There were 23 cases of diphtheria in 1895 in the Poor Law Schools of the Metropolitan district. Dr. Downes, the Inspector of the Board, states that so far as he can judge from the best available data, diphtheria during 1895, was about three times more rife among metropolitan children of school age not resident in Poor Law Schools than it was among the children resident in such schools. According to a Return made in the present month, there was 641 cases of ophthalmia, under treatment or observation in Metropolitan Poor Law Schools. The number for the corresponding period of 1895 was 709. Dr. Downes informs me that the cases were chiefly those of catarrhal ophthalmia or granular lids, and that he is not aware that there was any outbreak of the more serious form of purulent ophthalmia during the year.