IN the following Report a considerable amount of information of a varied character, but chiefly connected with medical topography, has been taken from the journals of different medical officers, and will, it is hoped, prove interesting and useful. In the Report on the Mediterranean Station the various phases presented by the different types of fever which prevail there are given at some length, and a detailed description will be found of what is commonly called Malta fever.
In North America and the West Indies, an extensive and very virulent epidemic of yellow fever devastated the Island of Bermuda, the particulars of which, so far as they affected the Naval Service, are detailed in the Report on that station.
On the South-east Coast of America a terrible catastrophe occurred in the loss of Her Majesty's ship Bombay by fire. So rapid was the progress of the flames, that in the attempt to escape from the burning vessel, one officer and ninety men were drowned, a mortality which increased the death-rate in the total force by 1·7 per 1,000.
On the Cape of Good Hope and East Indies Station the different forms of fever met with in the Mozambique Channel are described at some length; and on the China Station a detailed history will be found of a very fatal epidemic of dysentery by which the Marine battalion stationed in Japan was visited shortly after its disembarkation at Yokohama.
As compared with the preceding year, there was a fractional increase in the ratio of invaliding, and the death rate was increased by 2·7 per 1,000 of mean force. Of this increase, however, as stated above, 1·7 is attributable to the loss of the Bombay, and ·7 is referable to the mortality occasioned by yellow fever at Bermuda. There was a reduction in the total ratio of cases placed under treatment during the year equal to 80·3 per 1,000. The sanitary condition of the service generally, may therefore be considered to have been very satisfactory.
Alex. E. Mackay, M.D.
Admiralty, Somerset House,
23 September 1867.