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Volume 173: debated on Tuesday 5 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make psittacosis a notifiable illness; and if he will make a statement.

The Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984 and the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1988 define "notifiable" diseases and list the diseases that are to be notified. A review of this legislation is currently being carried out. A consultation document, "Review of the law on infectious disease control", issued by the Department in October 1989, invited comments on an extensive range of options and proposals for changes to the current law. Section 3 of the document identified the diseases which are currently notifiable and sought views on a number of questions including whether any additional diseases should be added to the list. More than 500 responses to the consultation document were submitted, many of which suggested additional diseases, including psittacosis, that should be made notifiable. Officials are now considering all the responses received. The case for making psittacosis a notifiable disease will be given careful consideration.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department has investigated the recent outbreak of psittacosis in Nottingham; and if he will make a statement.

Local clinicians are responsible for initiating epidemiological investigations. We are satisfied that appropriate action was taken at the time of the outbreak.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what studies his Department has undertaken on psittacosis; and if he will make a statement.