§ Mr. ROBERT YOUNG
asked the Secretary of State for War whether a number of cases of illness in the Army occurring in 1915 and 1916 in the Near East and sent to Malta, Lemnos, and other places, were diagnosed by the clinical symptoms as typhoid fever; whether the majority of these cases were subsequently returned as suffering from other diseases, the altered diagnosis being based on agglutination tests performed by bacteriologists sent out for the purpose; and if he will say how the figures regarding typhoid fever in the late War can be compared with those for other campaigns, in view of this alteration in the method of diagnosis?2646W
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
Under active service conditions in the field it was often impossible to carry out careful and prolonged bacteriological and clinical examination of cases. Under these circumstances a provisional diagnosis was returned. Such cases, on reaching the Base Hospitals, as at Mudros, Malta, or Lemnos, were submitted to bacteriological and clinical examination, as a routine measure, by the pathologists and physicians attached to such hospitals. In many cases the provisional diagnosis was altered; but until the investigation of the records, which is now proceeding, is completed, it is not possible to give any estimate of the number of cases in which such alteration of diagnosis was necessary. Some of the cases provisionally diagnosed as Enteric were subsequently returned as suffering from other diseases, and other cases provisionally diagnosed as Dysentery or Diarrhœa were finally diagnosed as Typhoid or Paratyphoid Fever on the bacteriological evidence. The diagnosis of disease has undoubtedly been more accurate in the late War than in any previous campaign.
§ Mr. WATERSON
asked the Secretary of State for War whether the figures regarding typhoid fever in the British Army contained in the recent White Paper are based on returns made by clinical diagnosis of the disease, or whether they are based on returns made by bacteriologists after agglutination tests have been made?
§ Mr. CHURCHILL
The figures in question were based on returns made both by clinical and bacteriological diagnosis. Bacteriological diagnosis was employed in every case, so far as the circumstances, permitted.