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0300 555 0114

Notifiable Diseases

Under the Public Health Act (Northern Ireland), doctors have a statutory duty to notify the Public Health Agency (PHA) if they are aware of or suspect that a patient is suffering from a notifiable disease. The Public Health (Northern Ireland) Act 1967 states that:
every medical practitioner attending on a person shall, as soon as he becomes aware, or has reasonable grounds for suspecting, that the person is suffering from a notifiable disease, send to the medical officer of health for the area in which the examination took place a certificate stating:

  • The name, age, sex and address of the patient
  • The address of the building in which the examination took place and
  • The notifiable disease from which, in the opinion of the medical practitioner, the patient is, or maybe, suffering.’

The aim of notification is to identify the risks and institute appropriate control measures as early as possible. Therefore, laboratory confirmation is not required for notification as this could delay the public health and infection control response for both the patient and their contacts (if applicable).

If a patient is admitted to the hospital with a diagnosis or suspected of having any notifiable disease, the clinician in charge has a legal responsibility to notify the Public Health Agency. Likewise, General Practitioners (GPs) have the same responsibility in a community setting. 

A notification form must be completed and sent to the Public Health Agency, including information on the patient’s name, address, sex, age and date of disease onset. The Infection Prevention & Control Team should also be informed in a hospital setting.

Where urgent advice or action is required, the Public Health Agency Duty Room should be contacted by telephone. Alternatively, the Public Health Agency can be contacted by telephone.  Click here for contact details.

Public Health Act (Northern Ireland) 1967

List of Notifiable Diseases

  • Acute encephalitis/meningitis: bacterial
  • Acute encephalitis/meningitis: viral
  • Anthrax
  • Chickenpox
  • Cholera
  • Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
  • Diphtheria
  • Dysentery
  • Food Poisoning
  • Gastro-enteritis (persons under 2 years of age only)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Hepatitis unspecified: viral
  • Legionnaire’s Disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • Malaria
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal septicaemia
  • Monkeypox
  • Mumps
  • Paratyphoid fever
  • Plague
  • Poliomyelitis: acute
  • Rabies
  • Relapsing fever
  • Rubella
  • Scarlet fever
  • Smallpox
  • Tetanus
  • Tuberculosis: pulmonary and non-pulmonary
  • Typhoid fever
  • Tuberculosis: pulmonary and non-pulmonary
  • Viral haemorrhagic fevers
  • Whooping cough
  • Yellow fever