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DUNEDIN, March 31

The Influenza Commission sat at Diinedin to-day. Dr. Faris, District Health (Officer* stated that during, the winter month's' preceding the epidemic, there were numerous cases \of influenza in Dunediii, but mild in character. He knew of several cases/however, where pneumonia occurred as a complication; and he had. also been.informed by one practitioner of two cases which came under his notice on September 2, which in the light, of. .the present experience he considered to be epidemic type. He attributed the spread in this district to Christchurch. Carnival Week, commencing on November 4, and the Winton races on November 13 and 14. Some contracted the disease immediately on reaching Christchurch, and returning at once to their : homes in Otago and Southland, spread the infection. Otago's health district population was 190,865 Europeans and 298 Maoris. The total deaths during the last three months of the year were: October 6, November 470, December 428—a total of 904. He considered the Department needed more inspectors. Dr. Champaloup, ■ Professor of Bacteriology, Public Health Department, said that the world's leading authorities herd divergent views on the disease. Expert opinion at present was divided in two lines, one believing the influenza bacillus to be the primary cause, and other micro organisms to be secondary invaders, after' a way had been prepared for tlhem. Other experts. believe that the real cause was filter-passing virus toe small to be diagnosed by the microscope, and that the influenza bacillus and the other' micro organisms were all secondary invaders. At present, experimental evidence- in support of the second view was needed. f

. Dr. Champaloup handed in a report from fhe Medical School on the scientific aspects of the epidemic, presenting clinical, pathological, and bacterological aspects. The results agreed very closely with those obtained in America, whilst the workers in Australia were finding similar conditions. In the light of present day knowledge, we could expect very little help in preventing future epidemics from protective inocnculation by means of bacteriological vaccines, mads from micro organisms found to be most frequently present in the tissues in severe cases. He was of the opinion that protective inoculation gave-in many of those inoculated, very brief and a slight degree of protection, sufficient in some cases to make all the difference between a mild attack on the one hand and a severe or fatal attack on the other. The ideal condition would be to administer vaccine before the epidemic appeared, for there was a certain amount # of risk in giving it to persons who might be incubating the disease. For this reason and for the reason that the protection afforded was problematic, lie did not recommend wholesale inoculation during the last epidemic. There were two classes of people, however, for whom vaccine should be available as soon as an epidemic appeared likely, viz., doctors, nurses, arid -voluntary workers', and those who, for any reason had an unusual dread, of disease; To these people inoculaion would give confidence, apart from the' specific protection, and there doubt fright had contributed to the deaths.

Speaking on the improvements to the Health Service, he considered the active control of the health and hospital .services was now too miTcli for one man, and he suggested a (DivpctorGeneral, with a Deputy Ghief Health Officer and Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals, and also that the four central districts be divided, and junior medical officers stationed at suitable sub-centres.

Dr. Champtaloup added that in the most virulent type of disease, the germs, other than pure influenza, were foxmd in great numbers in the earlier stage. He thought the disease we had in New Zealand before the Niagara arrived would'have in time reached the same virulence.

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Bibliographic details

DOMINION ENQUIRY., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9573, 31 March 1919

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DOMINION ENQUIRY. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9573, 31 March 1919

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