HC Deb 18 April 1929 vol 227 cc397-8
32. Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

asked the Minister of Health the number of cases of small-pox that have occurred to date from the steamship "Tuscania"; the number of these that have occurred since the official statement was issued on 12th April; the number that have died: the vaccination history of those who have died; whether any cases have occurred from contact with passengers or crew; and whether all passengers and crew are under observation and have been offered vaccination?


The number of cases of small-pox which have occurred among the 1,598 persons (passengers and crew) of the steamship "Tuscania" is 45, which is 10 more than the figure of 35 announced on 13th April. There have been seven deaths. The vaccination history of the patients who died, and of the other patients, is not yet available. All the patients notified have been isolated in hospital, and all the contacts are being kept under supervision. I have no information at present that any persons, other than those who were on board this ship, have contracted small-pox from contact with the passengers or crew. I am glad of this opportunity to say that the rigorous action which has been taken in this country to prevent the spread of small-pox from this vessel appears to have proved effectual. As the ship arrived here 17 days ago, any serious risk of a widespread outbreak of the disease should now be at an end, even though it is possible that some secondary cases may arise. It is scarcely necessary for me to add that for the community in general facilities are always available for free vaccination, which is the best safeguard against any risk of infection.

Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

Arising out of the Minister's statement—for which I thank him—may I ask whether the vaccination history of those who have died will be available in due course?


Yes, Sir. I hope to be able to get it, and I shall convey the information to my hon. and gallant Friend.

Viscount SANDON

Will it be circulated?

33. Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

asked the Minister of Health the number of cases of small-pox that have occurred amongst passengers and crew of the s.s. "Mashobra," shortly due at Southampton from Bombay; what number of passengers landed at Marseilles for England; and what steps are being taken to prevent the introduction of small-pox through them into this country?


It is not yet known whether there has been any smallpox on board this vessel, but all precautions are being taken and she will be closely inspected at Plymouth, her first port of arrival. I am informed that 31 of her passengers were landed at Marseilles.

Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether a case of small-pox was landed at Marseilles from this ship?


I am advised that that is not yet known.


How many members of the Government have been re-vaccinated?

Lieut.-Colonel Sir FREDERICK HALL

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that in order to prevent the spread of this infection he should once more introduce compulsory vaccination?

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