Developments

Minister for Health makes neonatal Herpes a notifiable disease

Minister for Health Simon Harris has today (Tuesday) signed the Infectious Diseases (Amendment) Regulations 2018 into law, a key part of which is to make neonatal Herpes simplex virus a notifiable disease. 

Minister Harris signed the regulations in the presence of John and Louise Wills, who have advocated for this since the loss of their infant daughter Eibhlín due to complications arising from the disease.

The Minister said “The loss of an infant is something that most of us cannot even begin to come to terms with, much less turn into something positive. That is what makes the work of both John and Louise so extraordinary and powerful.

“I hope that the inclusion of neonatal Herpes simplex among the diseases that are notifiable will help, in some small way, to increase public awareness of this disease and the danger that it can represent to newborns.

“I would encourage expectant mothers, future fathers and extended family members to read Eibhlín’s story on the dedicated website set up by John and Louise (www.rememberingeibhlin.org) and to read the sensible precautionary measures there”

The Regulations also amend the Infectious Diseases Regulations 1981 to require both confirmed or suspected cases of Creutzfeld Jakob disease and variant Creutzfeld Jakob disease to be notifiable, in line with the other diseases listed as notifiable. 

Carbapenemase producing enterobacteriaceae, mcr-positive Enterobacteriaceae, and Novel or Rare Antimicrobial-resistant Organisms have also been added to the list of infectious diseases requiring to be notified due to their resistance to certain antibiotics or medical drugs.

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