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Smallpox

Volume 413: debated on Friday 24 August 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for War what steps other than vaccination are taken to prevent the spread of smallpox amongst troops serving abroad.

The steps, other than vaccination, taken to prevent the spread of smallpox amongst troops serving abroad include:—Isolation of cases as they occur. Surveillance by medical officers of the contacts of cases. Disinfection of accommodation and personal clothing and bedding where a case of smallpox has occurred, as laid down in Army Council Instructions.

In areas where civilian outbreaks occur, steps may be taken to limit the extent of contact of troops with civilians, for example, by placing an area out of bounds. The routine health inspections may detect early cases of disease.

The Port Sanitary Regulations, 1933, and the Public Health (Aircraft) Regulations, 1938, are designed to prevent the introduction of smallpox (and certain other infectious diseases) into each country. Close co-operation is maintained with the civilian health authorities, wherever possible, in order to lessen the risk of civilian outbreaks spreading to troops. It should perhaps be emphasised that vaccination is the greatest single measure of protection against smallpox, and that without vaccination the above measures would be of doubtful efficacy.