HC Deb 11 December 1985 vol 88 c682W
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:

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.