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Disease Notification

Notification of Diseases
1. Disease notification is a practice of reporting the occurrence of a specific disease or health-related condition to the appropriate and designated authority.
2. A notifiable disease is any disease that is required by law to be reported to government authorities.
3. Effective notification allows the authorities to monitor the disease, and provides early warning of possible outbreaks
4. A notifiable disease is one for which regular and timely information regarding individual cases is considered necessary for the prevention and control of the disease.
5. Reasons for Declaring a Disease as Notifiable may be:
a. It is of interest to national or international regulations or control programs
b. Its national/ State/ District incidence
c. Its severity (potential for rapid mortality)
d. Its communicability/ Its potential to cause outbreaks
e. Significant risk of international spread
f. The socio-economic costs of its cases
g. Its preventability
h. Evidence that its pattern is changing
i. In other words, diseases which are considered to be serious menaces to public health are included in the list of notifiable diseases
6. Hence the list of notifiable diseases vary from
a. Country to country and (notifiable diseases in India:
b. Within the same country
i. Between the States and
ii. Between urban and rural areas

Limitations of notification system as a data source
• Notification data can include only a small portion of the total illness in the community
• The system suffers from a good deal of under reporting
o Atypical and subclinical cases escape notification e.g.
• Rubella
• Non paralytic polio etc.
o Accuracy of notification is dependent upon availability of facilities for diagnosis
o Often the disease is not reported because:
• Healthcare worker is not aware
• Intention to report a lower incidence to prove effective administration etc.
• In spite of these limitations,
o notification provides valuable information about fluctuation in disease frequency
o It also provides early warning about new occurrences or outbreaks of disease
o It has become a valuable source of morbidity data i.e. the incidence and distribution of certain specified diseases which are notifiable.
Under IHR following diseases were notifiable to WHO:
1. Cholera
2. Yellow fever and
3. Plague
In 2005 revision, following diseases were added:
1. smallpox,
2. poliomyelitis due to wild-type poliovirus,
3. SARS and
4. cases of human influenza caused by a new subtype

Diseases under International surveillance are
• Louse borne typhus
• Relapsing fever
• Polio
• Influenza
• Malaria
• Rabies and
• Salmonellosis