HC Deb 08 June 1964 vol 696 cc18-9W
Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Health how many epidemics of typhoid fever occurred in Britain during each of the last five years; where they occurred; how long they lasted in each case; how many people were affected, and to what extent; what steps he took to ascertain the cause and to terminate the epidemic in each case; and what were the results.

Mr. Barber

Four major outbreaks, all in 1963.

The first outbreak affected 72 people who had recently returned from Zermatt, with one secondary case in a family contact. There was one death. The cases were widely scattered throughout Great Britain. Onset of illness ranged from 21st February to 8th April. My Department got into touch with the Swiss Ministry of Health about the cause.

The other three outbreaks took place at Harlow and South Shields and in the Bedford area, each affecting 20 to 30 people. There were no deaths. In the first two, onset of illness covered a period of about three weeks; in the third about seven weeks. These outbreaks were investigated by the local Medical Officers of Health, and all were attributed to corned beef.

In all cases control measures were taken by the Medical Officers of Health, and these undoubtedly contributed to the termination of the outbreaks.

Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Health how many cases of typhoid and of suspected typhoid have been reported to him in England during the last three months, indicating where and when they were reported, their causes and the present condition and number of patients.

Week ending Number of Cases Local Authority Area
7th March 2 Hackney M.B. (1), Watford R.D. (1).
14th March 3 Hackney M.B. (2), Swanscombe U.D. (1).
21st March 2 Stoke-on-Trent C.B. (1), Birmingham C.B. (1).
28th March
4th April 3 Watford R.D. (3).
11th April 3 Watford R.D. (2), Hampstead M.B. (1).
18th April 2 Watford R.D. (2).
25th April
2nd May 12 Bury C.B. (2), Leicester C.B. (1), Clutton R.D. (Somerset) (2), Long Ashton R.D. (Somerset) (2), Chertsey U.D. (2), Walton and Weybridge U.D. (1), Woking U.D. (2).
9th May 3 Poplar M.B. (1), Barnet U.D. (1), Long Ashton R.D. (Somerset) (1).
16th May 6 Watford R.D. (1), Rochdale C.B. (1), Loughborough B. (1), Woking U.D. (1), Port of London (2).
23rd May 1 Romford B. (1).
30th May 2 Hatfield R.D. (1), Gt. Harwood U.D. (1).*
6th June 1 Walthamstow B. (1).
* Now thought not be be Typhoid Fever.
Eighteen of these cases probably contracted infection abroad; 9 were associated with a hospital outbreak; 4 were probably infected within the household; and in 8, the source is unknown. One case notified as typhoid fever was not confirmed.

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