Notifications of Infectious Diseases
Notification of Infectious Diseases (NOIDS) 2019 (Current weekly total of notifications of infectious diseases in the past four weeks along with the cumulative total for the current year compared with corresponding periods).
There are 35 diseases currently classified as 'notifiable'. When a general practitioner or other doctor in attendance suspects that a patient is suffering from a notifiable disease, he or she is legally required to inform the Director of Public Health.
The prime purpose of the notifications system is to detect possible outbreaks, to initiate contact tracing, eg tuberculosis and meningococcal disease, and to trigger investigation, eg food poisoning, rapidly.
Accuracy of diagnosis is secondary and clinical suspicion of a notifiable infection is all that is required. If a diagnosis later proves incorrect, the notification can be amended. It also enables legal measures to be taken when necessary to control infection, eg the exclusion from work of a food handler suffering from salmonella infection.
Food poisoning notifications include those formally notified by clinicians and reports of salmonella, campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Listeria and E. coli O157 informally ascertained from laboratories.