Investigation of notifiable diseases
Environmental Health Departments have a statutory duty to investigate certain notifiable diseases under the Health Protection Regulations 2010. Confirmed cases are notified to local authorities by Public Health England (PHE).
Different diseases are investigated in different ways. This is usually be done by a standard questionnaire. Depending on the disease an officer may visit or phone to complete this or send the questionnaire for the infected person (or their parent/guardian if under 16 years old) to complete themselves and return to us.
The information provided is kept in the strictest confidence and will only be used for the purposes of the investigation and the recording of national statistics. The information received via questionnaires are used to help decide whether any further action is required. If a food premises is implicated a follow up visit may be necessary. The reason for these investigations is to try and reduce the spread of disease so information required will include:
- occupation (some occupations have a higher risk of passing on disease eg. a food handler or a carer)
- recent food history (this could range from a few hours to several weeks. The earlier we can ask the questions the easier it is for people to remember the answers)
- recent travel history or functions attended
- close contacts (some diseases can be spread from person to person).
Notifiable diseases covered by this system are listed below; click the links for more information. Further advice can be found on the health protection webpage on the GOV.UK website
- Dysentery (Shigella)
- E. coli
- Legionnaires Disease
- Suspected Food poisoning (or Gastrointestinal Disease)
- Typhoid/Paratyhoid (enteric fever).
You can find information about infectious disease services on the NHS Choices website or by contacting your GP with any concerns you have about your health.