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Detailed guide: Notifiable diseases and causative organisms: how to report

Public Health England

October 26
09:30 2020

Public Health England (PHE) aims to detect possible outbreaks of disease and epidemics as rapidly as possible. Accuracy of diagnosis is secondary, and since 1968 clinical suspicion of a notifiable infection is all thats required.

Notification of infectious diseases is the term used to refer to the statutory duties for reporting notifiable diseases in the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010.

Registered medical practitioners: report notifiable diseases

Registered medical practitioners (RMPs) have a statutory duty to notify the proper officer at their local council or local health protection team (HPT) of suspected cases of certain infectious diseases.

Complete a notification form immediately on diagnosis of a suspected notifiable disease. Dont wait for laboratory confirmation of a suspected infection or contamination before notification. Consult the PHE Notifiable Diseases poster (PDF, 1020KB, 1 page) for further information.

Send the form to the proper officer within 3 days, or notify them verbally within 24 hours if the case is urgentby phone, letter, encrypted email or secure fax machine.

If you need help, contact your local HPT using the postcode lookup.

For more detail on reporting responsibilities of RMPs, see page 14 of Health Protection Legislation (England) Guidance 2010.

All proper officers must pass the entire notification to PHE within 3 days of a case being notified, or within 24 hours for urgent cases.

List of notifiable diseases

Diseases notifiable to local authority proper officers under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010:

  • Acute encephalitis
  • Acute infectious hepatitis
  • Acute meningitis
  • Acute poliomyelitis
  • Anthrax
  • Botulism
  • Brucellosis
  • Cholera
  • COVID-19
  • Diphtheria
  • Enteric fever (typhoid or paratyphoid fever)
  • Food poisoning
  • Haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS)
  • Infectious bloody diarrhoea
  • Invasive group A streptococcal disease
  • Legionnaires disease
  • Leprosy
  • Malaria
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal septicaemia
  • Mumps
  • Plague
  • Rabies
  • Rubella
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
  • Scarlet fever
  • Smallpox
  • Tetanus
  • Tuberculosis
  • Typhus
  • Viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF)
  • Whooping cough
  • Yellow fever

Report other diseases that may present significant risk to human health under the category other significant disease.

Laboratories: report notifiable organisms (causative agents)

All laboratories in England performing a primary diagnostic role must notify PHE on the confirmation of a notifiable organism.

Read the guidance for diagnostic laboratories on Reporting causative agents to PHE (PDF, 784KB, 31 pages).

For more details on the responsibilities of laboratories, see page 28 of Health Protection Legislation (England) Guidance 2010.

List of notifiable organisms (causative agents)

Causative agents notifiable to PHE under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010:

  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Bacillus cereus (only if associated with food poisoning)
  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Borrelia spp
  • Brucella spp
  • Burkholderia mallei
  • Burkholderia pseudomallei
  • Campylobacter spp
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Chlamydophila psittaci
  • Clostridium botulinum
  • Clostridium perfringens (only if associated with food poisoning)
  • Clostridium tetani
  • Corynebacterium diphtheriae
  • Corynebacterium ulcerans
  • Coxiella burnetii
  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus
  • Cryptosporidium spp
  • Dengue virus
  • Ebola virus
  • Entamoeba histolytica
  • Francisella tularensis
  • Giardia lamblia
  • Guanarito virus
  • Haemophilus influenzae (invasive)
  • Hanta virus
  • Hepatitis A, B, C, delta, and E viruses
  • Influenza virus
  • Junin virus
  • Kyasanur Forest disease virus
  • Lassa virus
  • Legionella spp
  • Leptospira interrogans
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Machupo virus
  • Marburg virus
  • Measles virus
  • Mumps virus
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Omsk haemorrhagic fever virus
  • Plasmodium falciparum, vivax, ovale, malariae, knowlesi
  • Polio virus (wild or vaccine types)
  • Rabies virus (classical rabies and rabies-related lyssaviruses)
  • Rickettsia spp
  • Rift Valley fever virus
  • Rubella virus
  • Sabia virus
  • Salmonella spp
  • SARS-COV-2
  • Shigella spp
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (invasive)
  • Streptococcus pyogenes (invasive)
  • Varicella zoster virus
  • Variola virus
  • Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (including E.coli O157)
  • Vibrio cholerae
  • West Nile Virus
  • Yellow fever virus
  • Yersinia pestis

Reporting of SARS-COV-2 test results to Public Health England

Background

All laboratories in England performing a primary diagnostic role must notify PHE of specified causative agents (organisms), in accordance the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010. SARS-COV-2 is the notifiable causative agent for COVID-19. All registered medical practitioners in England must notify the proper officer of the relevant local authority or the local PHE health protection team of specified infectious diseases, in accordance with the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010. All proper officers must disclose the entire notification to PHE. COVID-19 is a notifiable infectious disease.

PHE is an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). It fulfils the Secretary of States statutory duties to protect health and address health inequalities and executes the Secretary of States power to promote the health and wellbeing of the nation. PHEs annual remit letter from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Prevention, Public Health and Primary Care sets out its responsibility to protect the publics health from infectious diseases and other public health hazards.

PHE has approval from the Secretary of State to process confidential information associated with notifiable causative agents and notifiable infectious diseases without patient consent under Regulation 3 of the Health S

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