Timeliness of electronic reporting and acceptability of public health follow-up of routine Nonparatyphoidal and nontyphoidal Salmonella infections, London and South East England, 2010 to 2011

E. Severi*, Gavin Dabrera, N. Boxall, L. Harvey-Vince, L. Booth, S. Balasegaram

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Nonparatyphoidal and nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) infections are major causes of food poisoning in England. Diagnostic laboratories and clinicians have a statutory responsibility to report NTS infection cases to the Health Protection Agency via various means, with electronic reporting encouraged as the universal method. The Health Protection Agency (Public Health England since 1 April 2013) refers cases to environmental health departments for follow-up. Timeliness of reporting and adequacy of NTS infection case follow-up are key factors in the implementation of public health actions. Laboratories, health protection units, and environmental health departments in London and South East (SE) regions of England completed three surveys between December 2010 and April 2011, collecting data about the NTS infection case reporting methods and the time elapsed between symptom onset and public health actions. The median period between symptom onset and public health investigation was 25 days in London and 23 days in SE when electronic reporting was used and 12 days in London and 11 days in SE when other means of reporting were used. The most common follow-up method was a telephone questionnaire in London (53%) and a postal questionnaire in SE (52%). The telephone questionnaire had the highest response rate (98% in London; 96% in SE). Timeliness and efficiency of electronic NTS infection case reports can be improved by decreasing the electronic laboratory report period and using telephone-administered questionnaires to maximize the public health benefit when following up single cases of NTS infection.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)94-99
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Food Protection
    Volume77
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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