HC Deb 09 March 1911 vol 22 cc1745-6W

asked the President of the Local Government Board whether he will state the number of deaths of children under the age of fifteen years who were certified to have died from chicken-pox in England in the years 1908 and 1909, and what was their vaccinal condition; whether it is still the view of the Registrar-General that chicken-pox is usually so trifling an ailment, and so rarely if ever fatal that it may be assumed with much probability that the greater part of the 100 or so deaths that year after year are referred to this cause are in reality cases of small-pox, as stated in his forty-sixth Report; and what is the reason for the omission of the reference to chicken-pox from the seventy-second Annual Report of the Registrar-General, after a similar reference had appeared for so many years?


The numbers of deaths, certified as resulting from chicken-pox, of children under fifteen years of age in England and Wales were 93 in 1908, and 94 in 1909. The vaccinal condition of these children is not stated in the death returns. With regard to the last part of the question, it is true that the statement quoted was made in the Report for the year 1883, but subsequent experience has not shown that there is any evidence that any considerable proportion of the recorded mortality from chicken-pox is really due to small-pox. Although chicken-pox in the vast majority of eases is a very mild disease, it is well known that severe cases occasionally occur which may be fatal.