Registered medical practitioners in England and Wales have a statutory duty to notify their local authority or local Health Protection Team of suspected cases of certain infectious diseases.
All laboratories in England performing a primary diagnostic role must notify UKHSA when they confirm a notifiable organism.
UKHSA collects these notifications and publishes analyses of local and national trends every week.
Scarlet fever and group A streptococcus
The sharp increase in scarlet fever and other group A streptococcus infections and increased awareness and vigilance amongst clinicians has led to a significant rise in scarlet fever notifications in recent weeks. This means that notifications of cases of scarlet fever are taking longer to appear in our published data after being processed.
On 20 December 2022, NOIDs were updated to include an additional 9,945 scarlet fever notifications. These were reported between 7 November and 11 December 2022, with the vast majority of notifications occurring since 5 December 2022. Data on invasive group A streptococcus, the more serious infection, is not impacted. There is no impact on clinical management of cases relating to this delay in reporting and public health actions were taken where necessary at the time.
Our teams are working at pace to ensure published data reflects all formal notifications received in recent weeks and local authority data will be updated once full data entry has occurred.
Any public health action, where necessary, is taken when UKHSA is informed of a case of scarlet fever, irrespective of whether it has been entered into NOIDs. UKHSA teams continue to manage outbreaks and have carried out all necessary public health interventions needed to reduce further transmission in outbreaks, especially in vulnerable settings such as schools and nurseries.