Respiratory infections, encompassing a wide range of illnesses affecting the respiratory system, present significant challenges to public health. These infections can range from mild colds to potentially more severe respiratory diseases, such as influenza, tuberculosis, legionnaires' disease and emerging threats like COVID-19. Rapid transmission, potential for outbreaks, and significant morbidity and mortality rates underscore the critical importance of robust surveillance systems in promptly detecting and responding to these infections.
Surveillance of respiratory infections is a critical public health tool that facilitates early detection, informed decision-making, and effective responses to protect the population's health. By continually monitoring and analysing data, the Public Health Agency can strengthen their preparedness and ability to mitigate the impact of respiratory infections on communities in Northern Ireland.
Further information on respiratory infections, including COVID-19 can be found on NI Direct.