§ 43. Sir J. Gilmour
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many cases have been reported of human beings contracting Newcastle disease; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Alison
Newcastle disease is a virus disease of birds, especially of domestic fowls. The virus from diseased birds can cause conjunctivitis in human beings. The disease in humans can be confirmed only by virological investigation in laboratories. The following numbers of confirmed cases have been reported by the Public Health Laboratory Service.
1967 1 1968 … … … Nil 1969 … … … Nil 1970 … … … 14 1971 (to date) … … … 2
The cases in 1970 and 1971 occurred in parts of the country where there were extensive outbreaks of Newcastle disease in poultry.
The disease in humans is short-lived and without residual effects.