This is an infectious or contagious disease which can be passed from one person to another. Direct physical contact, the handling of an infected object, or the transfer by droplets coughed or breathed out are all ways in which micro-organisms can be transmitted. The government produces a list of NOTIFIABLE DISEASES, which includes all the dangerous communicable diseases from anthrax, cholera and diphtheria through meningitis, rabies and smallpox to typhoid fever and whooping-cough (see respective entries). The UK’s Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act 1984 and subsequent regulations in 1988 oblige a doctor who suspects that a patient has a notiﬁable disease to report this to the local consultant in communicable disease. Expert support is provided by the Public Health Laboratory Service via surveillance centres and specialist laboratories.
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