THE EARL OF MANSFIELD
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they are aware that brucellosis in human beings is rapidly increasing in this country, and whether they will accordingly make it a notifiable disease, in order, on the one hand, that sufferers may obtain proper treatment in the early stages, thus increasing their chances of a quick recovery, and on the other hand preventing the spread of an always distressing, and sometimes incurable ailment.
§ THE MINISTER OF STATE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SECURITY (LORD ABERDARE)
It is true there has been some increase in the number of human cases of brucellosis reported in this country over the past four years, but this may well be attributable to increased interest in the disease and to improved laboratory techniques. Notification, like treatment, depends on confirmed diagnosis, so that notification in itself would not assist the early procurement of treatment. Transmission of brucellosis from man to man is virtually unknown so that little would be achieved by extending to this disease the various measures in the Public Health Acts which apply to notifiable diseases 87WA and are designed to prevent the transmission of disease in man. Potential sources of infection can be more readily identified by means other than notification, in particular by the routine testing of raw milk, a matter on which my De- 88WA partment gave guidance to local authorities and medical officers of health in a circular issued in October 1966.
House adjourned at twenty-two minutes past seven o'clock.