HC Deb 30 June 1958 vol 590 c873
41. Mr. C. R. Hobson

asked the Minister of Health what is now the attack rate of paralytic poliomyelitis per 100,000 of the population aged 1–5 years, 6–10 years, and 11–15 years; and what is the death rate per 100 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis.

Mr. Walker-Smith

Information is not available for these precise age-groups. In 1957 the rates per 100,000 at ages 1–4, 5–9 and 10–14 were respectively 35.2, 21.6 and 8.6. The death rate over all age groups was 8 per 100 cases.

Mr. Hobson

In view of that reply, does not the right hon. Gentleman think that his Department ought to reconsider the importation of untested vaccine?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I do not think that any such conclusion follows from the figures I have given in my Answer to the hon. Gentleman's Question.

Dr. Summerskill

Is the Minister also aware that although my hon. Friend has specified certain age groups, the fact is that there is a high percentage of poliomyelitis among the adult population?

Mr. Walker-Smith

The attack rate is a good deal lower among the adult population, but the mortality rate of those adults who get it is higher.