§ Mr. David Marshall
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many cases of meningitis have occurred in Scotland during each of the past three years; how many of these have been fatal; what evidence he has as to the principal cause of the disease; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The number of cases of meningococcal meningitis, which is a notifiable disease, for the past three years in Scotland is as follows:
1985 136 1986 180 1987 159 (provisional)
The number of laboratory reports of all forms of meningitis received by the Communicable Diseases (Scotland) Unit is as follows:
1985 460 1986 419 1987 432
The number of deaths from all forms of meningitis is as follows:
1985 22 1986 25 1987 n.a.
The principal attributable cause of the disease has not yet been identified. The recent position is that meningitis in Scotland appears to be confined to sporadic cases with no significant upsurge in numbers beyond anticipated variation. We are, however, keeping the situation under close review.