Public Health Agency

Table of Diseases

This section of the manual outlines some of the common diseases/conditions and what precautions are required to prevent their transmission or spread.

For each disease/condition, information is available on the following:

  1. Transmission based precautions – what precautions are required when caring for a patient with the disease/condition
  2. Infective material – where the organism causing the disease/condition is most likely to be found
  3. Duration of precautions – the length of time precautions should remain in place to prevent on-going transmission or spread to other individuals
  4. Isolation in a single room – whether isolation in a single room is necessary; this will ensure optimal placement of patients whilst they are considered infectious
  5. Comments – additional comments including whether the disease/condition is notifiable under The Public Health (Northern Ireland) Act 1967.

This list is neither complete nor authoritative and will be updated as and when required.

Please use the search box below to filter the table by keywords.  You can also re-order the table by clicking on any of the column headers.

Disease / Condition  Transmission Based Precautions Infective Material Duration of Precautions Isolation in Single Room Comments
Abscess (Minor) Standard Pus/discharge Duration of illness No Pus contained with an adequate dressing, or infected area is very small such as a stitch abscess
Abscess (Major) Contact Pus/discharge Duration of illness Yes Pus not contained with an adequate dressing or abscess is draining
Actinomycosis Standard Dental plaque/tonsillar crypts Irregular Yes (while infectious)
Adenovirus Droplet and Contact Respiratory secretions and faeces Duration of hospitalisation Yes Cohorting may be considered during increased incidence/outbreak
Amebiasis (amoebiasis) Contact Faeces Duration of hospitalisation Yes Those at risk live in areas of poor sanitation, crowding, travellers to endemic areas and persons partaking in oral-anal sexual activity
Anthrax Standard Lesion fluid Duration of hospitalisation Yes Notifiable disease
Ascariasis (roundworm) Standard Faeces Duration of illness If available
Aspergillosis Standard Contaminated food Duration of illness No
Botulism Standard Contaminated food No
Bronchiolitis (infants) Droplet and Contact Respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes Various aetiological agents such as RSV, Influenza, Parainfluenza and Adenoviruses have been associated with this illness
Brucellosis Standard Purulent discharge Yes (if draining lesions present)
Burns Contact Wound/lesion discharge Until wounds heel Yes (if draining lesions present) Positive pressure isolation required for 2nd and 3rd degree burns
Campylobacter enteritis Standard Faeces Until asymptomatic Yes Notifiable disease
Candidiasis Standard Mouth, skin, genital secretions Until asymptomatic No Contact precautions required for neonates
Cat Scratch Disease Standard No
Cellulitis (uncontrolled discharge) Contact Pus/discharge 24hrs after effective treatment Yes
Chlamydial infections (STD) Standard Genetial secretions Until asymptomatic No
Clostridium difficile Contact Faeces Until asymptomatic with formed stools Yes
Clostridium perfringens (foodborne) Standard Food No
Conjunctivitis (bacterial) Standard Purulent exudate No
Conjunctivitis (viral or aetiology unknown) Contact Purulent exudate Duration of illness Yes
Coronavirus Droplet and Contact Respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes Same precautions required for MERS-CoV
Creutzfeltd-Jakob Disease (CJD) Standard Blood, brain tissue, spinal fluid No Some waste will require disposal as cytotoxic waste
Croup Contact Respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes
Cryptosporidiosis Standard Faeces Duration of illness Yes (whilst symptomatic) Notifiable disease
Diphtheria Droplet and Contact Respiratory secretions/lesions Until 2 cultures from skin nose and throat/skin lesions, taken 24hrs apart after cessation of antimicrobial therapy are negative for Corynebacterium diphtheriae Yes Notifiable disease
Ebola-Marburg Viral Diseases Airborne and Contact Blood and secretions Duration of hospitalisation Yes Notifiable disease
E-coli Diarrhoeal Diseases Contact Faeces Until asymptomatic Yes Notifiable disease; infected persons should not be employed to handle food or provide care until 2 successive negative faecal samples are obtained (collected 24hours apart and not sooner than 48hours after the last dose of antimicrobials
Enteroviral infection (infants and young children) Contact Faeces Duration of illness No
Enteroviral infection (adults) Standard Faeces Duration of illness No
Erysipelas Contact Discharge from infected lesions For 24hours after start of effective treatment Yes Causative organisms may include Group A Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus and other Groups of Streptococci
Gastroenteritis (Norovirus) Contact Vomitus and Faeces Until 48hours asymptomatic and stools return to normal Yes Cohorting may be considered during increased incidence/outbreak
Gastroenteritis (Viral) Contact Vomitus and Faeces Until 48hours asymptomatic and stools return to normal Yes
Giardiasis Contact Faeces Duration of illness Yes Notifiable disease
Glandular Fever Standard Possibly respiratory secretions No
Gonococcal opthalmia neonatorum Contact Maternal cervix Until 24hours after administration of effective therapy Yes
Gonorrhoea Standard Discharge No
Haemophilus influenza Droplet Respiratory secretions Until 24hours after start of effective therapy Yes (if epiglottitis, menengitis or septicaemia)
Hand Foot and Mouth Contact Faeces or respiratory secretions Duration of hospitalisation Yes
Helicobacter Pylori Standard Variable (inc. faeces and water) No
Hepatitis A Contact Faeces First 2 weeks of illness but no more than 1 week after onset of jaundice (except in a Neonatal ICU setting where prolonged precautions must be considered) Yes Notifiable disease
Hepatitis B Contact Infective bodily fluids Duration of hospitalisation Yes (if risk of bleeding) Notifiable disease
Hepatitis C Contact Infective bodily fluids Duration of hospitalisation Yes (if risk of bleeding) Notifiable disease
Hepatitis D Contact Infective bodily fluids Duration of hospitalisation Yes (if risk of bleeding) Notifiable disease
Hepatitis E Contact Faeces Duration of hospitalisation Yes Notifiable disease
Herpesvirus Contact Saliva or genital secretions Duration of hospitalisation Yes (for neonates and adults with mucocutaneous, disseminated or primary severe)
HIV and AIDS Standard Blood and bodily fluids No (unless bleeding) Life long infection
Human papillomavirus infection Standard Infected lesion No
Impetigo Contact Lesions Until 24hours after start of effective therapy Yes
Influenza Droplet Respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes
Lassa Fever Airborne and Contact Blood, bodily fluids and respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes Hazard Group 4 pathogen - transfer to local ID unit
Legionellosis Standard Possibly respiratory secretions No Notifiable disease
Leprosy Standard Possibly respiratory secretions No
Leptospirosis Standard Blood and urine No Notifiable disease
Listeriosis Standard Faeces No (unless neonates)
Lyme Disease Standard Tic No
Malaria Standard Blood No Notifiable Disease
Marburg Virus Airborne and Contact Blood, bodily fluids and respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes Negative pressure - transfer to local ID unit
Measles Droplet and Contact Respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes Negative pressure; notifable disease;
Meningitis (meningococcal) Droplet and Contact Respiratory secretions Until 24hours after start of effective therapy Yes Prophlaxis required for close contacts
Meningitis (pneumococcal) Droplet and Contact Respiratory secretions No
Meningitis (viral) Depends on Causative Agent Variable Depends on causative agent Depends on causative agent
Mumps Droplet Respiratory secretions For 7days before and 9days after onset of swelling Yes Notifiable Disease
Necrotising fasciitis Contact Secretions/exudates Duration of illness Yes Depending on microorganism e.g. Group A streptococcus
Ophthalmia neonatorum Standard Purulent discharge No
Orf Standard Possibly drainage fluid No
Parvovirus B19 (erythema infectiosum) Standard Respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes
Parvovirus B19 (associated transient aplastic crisis or red cell crisis) Droplet Blood and body products For 7days after the onset of the transient aplastic or red cell crisis Yes
Parvovirus B19 (immunocompromised patient with chronic parvovirus infection) Droplet Blood and body products Duration of hospitalisation Yes
Pertussis Droplet Respiratory secretions Until 5days after the start of effective therapy Yes Notifiable Disease
Plague (bubonic) Standard Pus No
Plague (pneumonic) Droplet Sputum, secretions/excretions Until 3days after the start of effective therapy Yes Notifiable Disease
Poliomyelitis Contact Faeces and respiratory secretions Yes (if symptomatic with diarrhoea) Notifiable Disease
Psittacosis Standard Possibly respiratory secretions Yes (if coughing, otherwise No)
Q Fever Airborne and Contact Possibly respiratory secretions Until 7days after the onset of effective therapy No
Quinsy (Strep A pharyngitis) Droplet Respiratory secretions Until 24hours after the start of effective therapy Yes
Rabies Standard Animal bite Duration of illness Yes Notifiable Disease
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Droplet and Contact Respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes Consider cohorting if insufficient single rooms
Ringworm Standard Infected lesions No
Rotavirus Contact Faeces and possibly respiratory secretions Duration of illness Yes
Rubella Droplet Respiratory secretions Until 7days after the onset of rash Yes Notifiable Disease
Salmonellosis Standard Faeces Until asymptomatic Yes (if symptomatic) Notifiable Disease
SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) Airborne and Contact Respiratory secretions and faeces Duration of illness Yes Negative pressure isolation
Scabies Contact Infested area Until 24hours after application of effective therapy Yes Notifiable Disease
Scarlet fever Droplet Respiratory secretions Until 24hours after start of effective therapy Yes Notifiable Disease
Shigellosis Standard Faeces Until asymptomatic Yes (if symptomatic)
Smallpox (even if only suspected) Airborne and Contact Respiratory secretions and blood/bodily fluids Duration of illness Yes Notifiable Disease, negative pressure isolation, transfer to local ID unit
Staphlococcus scalded skin syndrome (Ritter's disease) Contact Infected lesions Duration of illness Yes
Streptococcus Group A (major wound or burn) Contact Exudate/pus Until 24hours after start of effective therapy Yes
Streptococcus Group A (endometritis, puerperal sepsis) Standard Vaginal discharge Until 24hours after start of effective therapy Yes
Streptococcus Group A (pneumonia) Droplet Respiratory secretions Until 24hours after start of effective therapy Yes
Streptococcus Group A (scarlet fever) Droplet Respiratory secretions Until 24hours after start of effective therapy Yes Notifiable Disease
Streptococcus Group B (Neonatal Unit only) Standard Possible faeces Yes
Syphilis Standard Lesion secretions and blood No Skin lesions of primary and secondary syphilis may be highly infective
Tapeworm Standard Possibly faeces No
Tetanus Standard No direct person to person transmission No
Threadworm Standard Mucous secretion from worm No
Tonsillitis Airborne and Standard Secretions Yes
Toxoplasmosis Standard Possibly bodily fluids No
Tuberculosis (pulmonary) Airborne Sputum or pus Until 2weeks after start of effective therapy Yes Negative pressure isolation; notifiable disease
Tuberculosis (non-pulmonary) Standard No
Typhoid Fever and Paratyphoid Fevers Contact Faeces Until asymptomatic Yes (if symptomatic) Notifiable Disease
Varicella/Herpes Zoster Airborne Respiratory secretions or vesicle fluid of skin lesions Until all lesions are crusted over Yes (while infectious) Notifiable Disease
Yellow Fever Standard Blood Duration of hospitalisation Yes (if actively bleeding) Notifiable Disease