REPORT OF BOARD OF HEALTH.
PORTSMOUTH, VA, AUGUST 14TH, 1902 Hon. J. THOMPSON BAIRD, Mayor:
DEAR SIR:- In compliance with your request, the Board of Health submits it annual report, showing in detail, the principal work done in the Sanitary Department of Portsmouth, during the fiscalyear ending June 30th, 1902.
The total number of deaths reported as occurring in this city during the year, is 322
With an estimated population of 20,000 inhabitants, this gives a mortality rate of 16.01, and total number of births reported, 368.
Of the 92 contagious diseases occurring during the year, 14 was diphtheria, 17 scarlet fever. 36 measles, 19 typhoid fever, 6 small pox, and total number of deaths 5. For details of the occurrence of the diseases, you are respectfully referred to the report of the Sanitary Inspector.
Few cities in the country, with a population equal to that of Portsmouth, can show such a low death rate from the five contagious diseases. The policy of your Board in prevention and control of contagious diseases is as follows:
Whenever a case of such disease occurs, the physician in charge immediately notifies the Health Department, the Sanitary Inspector places a warning card on the House, and the necessary measures as to disinfection of fabrics, and domiciles at from time to time, as is necessary in each case, carried out under the personal supervision of the Sanitary Inspector. Every such patient is kept in isolation until the attending physician certifies that the individual is no longer in danger of transmitting the disease to other citizens; then the Sanitary Inspector personally disinfects all infected apartments and their contents, as required by the Sanitary body of the city; then the patient is again permitted to mingle with citizens,. I am pleased to report that the work of disinfection done under the direction of your Board, has been so thorough that not an instance has a case of contagious disease developed in a house disinfected. Cases of small pox which cannot be, with safety to the public health, isolated at home, are conveyed to the small pox hospital.
The streets of the city are in a much better condition than formerly; a sweeping machine is badly needed to keep the paved streets in order.
The sewage system is very effective and has already proved of great benefit to our city, but until its use becomes universal,