HC Deb 26 May 1938 vol 336 c1400W
Captain Elliston

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps are being taken to control the outbreak of typhoid fever at Hawick, in Roxburghshire; and whether the cause of the outbreak has yet been ascertained?

Mr. Colville:

From the beginning of the outbreak the local public health authorities, in co-operation with the Department of Health for Scotland, and the local practitioners, have used every means of dealing with the outbreak, of preventing its spread, and of ascertaining its cause. Ample hospital accommodation for typhoid patients has been secured by bringing into use two buildings not normally utilised for cases of infectious disease. The necessary bacteriological work involved in such an outbreak has been carried out, first in the bacteriological department of Edinburgh University, and later in a special laboratory established in Hawick.

As a measure of precaution the local water supply is being chlorinated, though it has been established that the water supply was not the vehicle of infection. Inhabitants of Hawick have also been advised to boil all milk and water All contacts have been forbidden to handle foodstuffs. The lending library and the public swimming pool have been closed, and for a short time the public baths were also closed. In the course of the examination into the cause of the infection, exhaustive tests of the milk supply and of the source and distribution of all foods in common use were made, and all employ▿s engaged in production and distribution were where necessary subjected to special tests. As a result, the cause of the outbreak has been narrowed down to certain foodstuffs and it is believed that most, if not all, of the sources of infection have been cut off.