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Volume 415: debated on Thursday 1 November 1945

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asked the Minister of Health whether he can make available figures showing the incidence of influenza this autumn compared with similar periods in previous years; and whether he will make a statement on the likelihood of an influenza epidemic in this country during the coming winter.

:For the six weeks ended October 20, influenza deaths in London and 126 great towns numbered 54 as compared with 96, 75 and 60 in the corresponding period of the last three years. I will not risk a prophecy about the likelihood of an influenza epidemic this winter.

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware of the increase in sore throats and feverish colds, which are often the precursors of an influenza epidemic?

:I am very well aware of the increase in sore throats, and this long list of Questions has something to do with it, in my own case.