HC Deb 07 February 1933 vol 274 cc37-8

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Health whether any organised research is being conducted by to at the instance of his Department with a view to ascertaining the primary cause of influenza, and methods for its prevention, in view of the serious effects on the health and industry of the nation caused by recurring epidemics of this disease?


Investigation into the virus diseases, of which influenza is believed to be one, is continually in pro- gress at the National Institute for Medical Research. A special inquiry subsidised by my Department is also being made into the bacteria of the nose and throat with a view to devising methods of prevention of such respiratory diseases as influenza. Hitherto in this and other countries the direct verification of the influenza virus has proved impracticable because the effect of the organisms found cannot be proved experimentally in the absence of any susceptible species of animal. No general method of immunisation is accordingly at present available.

Viscountess ASTOR

Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that it would be wise if the people would not talk so much about it and think so much about it, because we must remember—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speech!"] Does he not think that it does more harm to talk about it, and would it not be as well to bear in mind what Job said: the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me?