Since July 2001, outbreaks have been reported to HPSC. Preliminary information is provided by a public health professional when the outbreak is first notified. Further information is provided by the lead investigator once more complete data are available. The data requested includes information on the source of reporting of the outbreak, the extent of the outbreak, mode of transmission, location, pathogen involved, laboratory investigation, morbidity and mortality data, suspect vehicle and factors contributing to the outbreak. The data provided are crucial in providing information on the reasons why the outbreak occurred, the factors that lead to the spread of disease and the lessons that can be learnt to prevent further such outbreaks.
Since the 1st January 2004, with the amendment to the Infectious Diseases Regulations (2003), there is a statutory requirement for medical practitioners and clinical directors of a diagnostic laboratory to notify to the medical officer of health ‘any unusual clusters or changing patterns of any illness, and individual cases thereof, that may be of public health concern’.
To view the Weekly Outbreak Report click here.
Figure 1: Number of IID and non-IID outbreaks in Ireland by month of notification and associated numbers ill, 2017