HC Deb 27 February 1919 vol 112 c1997W

asked the President of the Local Government Board what steps are being taken, both in research and in practical measures, to arrest the present epidemic of influenzal pneumonia; and if he will cause a gratuitous supply of the electrolytic disinfectant, produced in large quantities at trifling cost by the authorities of the borough of Poplar, to be made available in all parts of the Metropolis?


Researches into various points relating to the nature and cause of influenza, and the measures which are of practical value in preventing its spread, are being actively undertaken in my own Department, by investigation of the Medical Research Committee, and by many other observers in different countries. The present position of these researches was referred to in the Memorandum on Prevention of Influenza issued by the Local Government Board last week. The electrolytic disinfectant referred to is supplied by the Public Health Department of the Poplar Borough Council for use, after suitable dilution, as a gargle or for irrigation of the nose. A weak solution of chlorine, such as is made by this disinfectant, or the weak solution of permanganate of potash recommended in the Board's circular or other similar antiseptics, are of value in the prevention of influenza when used as a gargle or for nasal irrigation. Local authorities are authorised to provide such solutions within their districts with the Board's sanction, which was signified in the circular letter to local authorities of 4th November, 1918.