Infectious diseases & food poisoning


If a case of infectious disease is suspected by the nursing staff who are receiving patients:

  • The patient should be isolated in a cubicle as early as possible
  • The EM clinician should be called to examine the patient at once
  • The appropriate hospital routine for isolation and/or barrier nursing of all suspected cases, until proven negative, should be followed

Notification of cases of listed notifiable diseases and food poisoning is a statutory obligation and is the responsibility of the doctor who assumes clinical responsibility for the patient. (S)He must notify:

  • The appropriate Community Physician (by telephone)
  • The control of Infection Officer (by telephone)
  • Public Health, by completing the standard notification form within 24 hours of diagnosis

Notifiable Infectious Diseases

A doctor who suspects that a patient is suffering from one of the notifiable diseases listed below must notify the Dept. of Public Health. Formal notification is by sending a notification form. However diseases (such as acute meningitis) which may require urgent community health action should be communicated to the Public Health Doctor on-call by telephone:

  • Acute anterior poliomyelitis (Polio virus)
  • Acute infectious gastroenteritis
  • Ano-genital warts (HPV)
  • Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)
  • Bacillus cereus food-borne infection/intoxication
  • Bacterial meningitis (not otherwise specified)
  • Botulism (Clostridium botulinum)
  • Brucellosis (Brucella spp.)
  • Campylobacter infection (Campylobacter spp.)
  • Carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae
  • Chancroid (Haemophilus ducreyi)
  • Chicken pox(hospital) (VZV)
  • Chikungunya disease (Chikungunya virus)
  • Chlamydia trachomatis infection (genital) (C. trachomatis)
  • Cholera (Vibrio cholerae)
  • Clostridium difficile infection (CDAD)
  • Clostridium perfringens (type A) food-borne disease (C. perfringens)
  • Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Creutzfeldt Jakob disease
  • Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium parvum, hominis)
  • Cytomegalovirus infection (congenital) (CMV)
  • Dengue fever (Dengue virus)
  • Diphtheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae)
  • Echinococcosis (Echinococcus spp.)
  • Enterococcal bacteraemia (Enterococcus spp. (blood))
  • Escherichia coli infection (invasive) (E. coli blood, CSF)
  • Giardiasis (Giardia lamblia)
  • Gonorrhoea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae)
  • Granuloma inguinale (Klebsiella granulomatis)
  • Haemophilus influenzae disease (invasive) (H. influenzae (blood, CSF or other normally sterile site))
  • Hepatitis A (acute) (Hepatitis A virus)
  • Hepatitis B (acute and chronic) (Hepatitis B virus)
  • Hepatitis C (Hepatitis C virus)
  • Hepatitis E (Hepatitis E virus)
  • Herpes simplex (genital) (Herpes simplex virus)
  • HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus)
  • Human Monkeypox infection (Monkeypox virus)
  • Influenza (Influenza A and B virus)
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae infection (invasive) Klebsiella pneumoniae (blood or CSF)
  • Legionellosis (Legionella spp.)
  • Leprosy (Mycobacterium leprae)
  • Leptospirosis (Leptospira spp.)
  • Listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes)
  • Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi)
  • Lymphogranuloma venereum (Chlamydia trachomatis)
  • Malaria (Plasmodium falciparum, vivax, ovale, malariae)
  • mcr-positive Enterobacteriaceae infection
  • Measles (Measles virus)
  • Meningococcal disease (N. meningitidis)
  • Monkey Pox
  • Mumps
  • Non-specific urethritis
  • Noroviral infection (Norovirus)
  • Paratyphoid (Salmonella paratyphi)
  • Pertussis (Bordetella pertussis)
  • Plague (Yersinia pestis)
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection (invasive, blood or CSF)
  • Q Fever (Coxiella burnetii)
  • Rabies (Rabies virus)
  • Rotavirus
  • RSV
  • Rubella (Rubella virus)
  • Salmonellosis (Salmonella enterica)
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-associated coronavirus)
  • Shigellosis (Shigella spp.)
  • Smallpox (Variola virus)
  • Staphylococcal food poisoning (Enterotoxigenic S. aureus)
  • Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (S. aureus (blood)
  • Streptococcus group A infection (invasive) (S. pyogenes in blood, CSF or other normally sterile site)
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae infection (invasive) (S. pneumoniae in blood, CSF or other normally sterile site)
  • Syphilis (Treponema pallidum)
  • Tetanus (Clostridium tetani)
  • Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii)
  • Trichinosis (Trichinella spp.)
  • Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis)
  • Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex)
  • Tularemia (Francisella tularensis)
  • Typhoid (Salmonella typhi)
  • Typhus (Rickettsia prowazekii)
  • Verotoxigenic E. coli infection
  • Viral encephalitis
  • Viral meningitis
  • Viral haemorrhagic fevers (Lassa virus, Marburg virus, Ebola virus, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus)
  • West Nile fever (West Nile virus)
  • Yellow Fever (Yellow Fever virus)
  • Yersiniosis (Yersinia enterocolitica, pseudotuberculosis)
  • Zika virus infection (Zika virus)

Infection Control

Advice on general control of infection is available from the Infection Control Nurses or from the on-call Medical Microbiologist (out of hours).

  • Universal precautions (Standard Infection Control Practice)
  • Disease-specific precautions to prevent spread of infection
  • Decontamination of equipment
  • Patient infestations
  • Staff contact with infectious disease


  • Consider source
  • Take Blood Cultures
  • Culture whatever else is available (i.e. sputum, urine, wounds, stool)
  • If intra-abdominal source: Ampicillin 1g iv qds PLUS Gentamicin 5 mg/kg iv od PLUS Metronidazole 400 mg iv tds
  • Source unknown:ceftriaxone 2g Bd PLUS Gentamicin 4mg/kg iv od


See further details meningitis page

Content by Dr Íomhar O' Sullivan. Last review Dr ÍOS 6/02/23