§ Mr. Chris Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has carried out any investigation into the causes of the quadrupling of dysentery rates since 1979; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Whitney
Notifications of dysentery in England and Wales from 1979–84 were as follows:
Number 1979 2,787 1980 2,709 1981 3,401 1982 2,850 1983 5,004 1984 6,844
Notifications of dysentery have fluctuated considerably since 1919 when the disease became notifiable. The reason for this is unknown.
Part of the increase in recent years is thought to be due to more effective reporting arrangements to local medical officers for environmental health and the Government financed communicable disease surveillance centre.
MOEHs investigate outbreaks of dysentery and recommend preventive measures in the light of local circumstances. The CDSC monitors the incidence of the disease and provides expert advice on local control measures as appropriate.