§ 85. Mr. Medland
asked the Minister of Health the number of maternity homes that have had to be closed in the past six months owing to an obscure infectious sickness among babies and mothers; and if, in view of the concern caused in some districts, he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Bevan
I have been notified of the temporary closure of seven maternity homes or hospitals in the last six months because of outbreaks of gastro-enteritis which is, I assume, the sickness to which my hon. Friend refers. The causal agents of some of these outbreaks are known but there are still a type of diarrhœal disease 171W in very young infants that has so far remained unsolved. Active research is being pursued in this field.