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Smallpox (West Germany)

Volume 655: debated on Monday 12 March 1962

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asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the World Health Organisation has declared Aachen in West Germany an infectious area for smallpox; and what steps he is taking to prevent the entry of smallpox carriers from that area into this country.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Belgian authorities are now demanding vaccination certificates for all travellers coming from Western Germany in view of the outbreak of smallpox there, and that the B.M.A. in its journal last January criticised the Government's laxity in protecting the people of this country against smallpox brought in by travellers? In view of this, will he take some decisive action to protect the British people?

As the hon. Lady knows, Aachen is on the Belgian frontier, but I am advised that it can be assumed that all suspects in this outbreak can be relied upon to be under surveillance or in isolation. In those circumstances, I would not be justified in recommending port health authorities to take exceptional measures.