Every doctor has a responsibility to notify
It’s a busy Saturday night in the emergency department, and you are the junior doctor on call. Baby Sam comes in with suspected meningococcal meningitis. He is being treated with intravenous antibiotics. His parents are distraught. Not only are they worried about Sam, but they have two other young children and are scared that they will get it too.
What do you do? How can we protect others? And what is your responsibility? The notification of specific infectious diseases is an integral part of medical practice. The information in this article relates to practice in only the United Kingdom, although the importance of recognising and reporting suspected cases of a notifiable disease is universal (see the World Health Organization’s International Health Regualations, 2005).
The process of disease notification and the list of diseases that are notifiable will vary from country to country. For information on practice outside the UK please