HC Deb 21 June 1976 vol 913 cc391-2W
Mr. Nicholas Winterton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if, in view of the recent case of suspected rabies, he has any evidence that there is a danger of immigrants entering the United Kingdom suffering from undiagnosed rabies;

(2) if he will make a statement on the suspected case of rabies at a Manchester Hospital; and whether this case has been positively diagnosed;

(3) if he is satisfied that there are sufficient safeguards to prevent rabies being brought into the United Kingdom by people visiting or immigrants intending to reside here indefinitely;

(4) if he will consider introducing some form of rabies quarantine regulations

Windsor, Kidderminster, Edmonton and East Ham, on 1st July 1974, 1st January 1976 and 1st June 1976, respectively.

Mr. Deakins

The information for the districts in which the places named are situated is as follows:

for immigrants, following the recent case of suspected rabies in Manchester;

(5) what is the incubation period for rabies in human beings.

Dr. Owen

A patient from Bangladesh died in North Manchester General Hospital on 11th June from suspected rabies. Shortly before leaving Bangladesh in September last year he had been bitten by a dog but had not received vaccination. Initial tests at the Central Public Health Laboratory, Colindale, have proved negative, but further tests are being done and the results are expected in about 10 days' time. During the last 10 years there have been only three instances of persons developing rabies after entering the United Kingdom, having been infected abroad: there is no way of identifying such cases on entry. The incubation period can vary from two weeks to over a year. Rabies is caught from infected animals; transmission from man to man has never been confirmed. Quarantine arrangements for humans are, therefore, inappropriate.