The Public Health etc. (Scotland) Act 2008

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Annual Data 2009

Information relating to notifications of infectious diseases for 2009 are summarised as key points with more detailed tables and charts below. These tables and charts contain 2009 and previous years data for notifications of infectious disease.

These analyses are for notifications to the year ended 31 December 2009. 

Key Points


Notifications for measles are on the basis of clinical suspicion. As measles has become rare in Scotland, it is difficult to diagnose clinically without laboratory tests. There were 172 notifications for measles in Scotland in 2009 and 17 were laboratory confirmed. This compares with 219 notifications and 54 laboratory confirmed cases in 2008. In every year, the majority of measles cases occur in unimmunised individuals.


There were 1129 notifications for mumps in 2009 compared with 720 notifications in 2008. Cases continue to be mainly among the young adult age group, who are often under immunised against mumps, not having been routinely offered two doses of MMR vaccine.


Notifications for rubella are on the basis of clinical suspicion. As rubella has become rare in Scotland, it is difficult to diagnose clinically without laboratory tests. There were 93 notifications of rubella in 2009, and no laboratory confirmed cases. This compares with 106 notifications and four laboratory confirmed cases in 2008.


There were 16569 notifications in 2009, compared with 12181 in 2008, 19898 in 2007 and 16877 in 2006. Numbers of chickenpox cases fluctuate from year to year, but there is no clear cycle. Chickenpox is endemic in the UK and universal vaccination is not recommended. Most people are infected with chickenpox at some point in their lives, the majority before adulthood.

Whooping cough

There were 104 notifications for whooping cough in 2009, compared with 134 in 2008. There were 105 laboratory confirmed cases, 17 of the confirmed cases (16%) were in children less than a year old, seven of whom were less than a month old and would have been too young to be immunised. Whooping cough is known to be under-notified in Scotland.


There were 503 notifications of tuberculosis during 2009. This was similar to 2008 when there were 502 notifications, but this figure represents a continued increasing trend since 2005 when there were 389 notifications. The last year in which a comparable notification figure was recorded was in 1996 when it was 509.

During 2009 there was a recorded increase for pulmonary TB and a decrease for non-pulmonary TB, with 308 and 195 notifications respectively, compared with 2008 when there were 302 and 200 respectively. However, non-pulmonary TB continues to remain at the highest level seen since 1980 when 195 cases were reported.

This increase in notifications of tuberculosis is mirrored by an increase in reports to ESMI. During 2009, the ESMI scheme provisionally reported 468 cases of tuberculosis (compared with 455 cases reported in 2008) which is the highest ever number reported to the ESMI scheme since it began in 2000.

Meningococcal infection

There were 122 cases of meningococcal infection notified in 2009, similar to the 120 cases notified in 2008. Meningococcal infection has steadily declined following a peak in 1999 when 329 cases were notified. More than half of the cases notified in 2009 (60%; 72 cases) were in children aged under 15 years.

Scarlet fever

In 2009 625 cases of scarlet fever were notified, a decrease from the 890 cases notified in 2008. The vast majority of notifications in 2009 (539 cases; 86%) were in children aged under 15 years.

Viral hepatitis

Viral hepatitis notifications from public health include reports on hepatitis A, acute hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and hepatitis E infections. During 2009, 1311 notifications of viral hepatitis were received, a decrease of 22% on that recorded for 2008 (1684). The number of notification received from NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (348, 26.5%), NHS Tayside (291, 22.2%) and NHS Grampian (189, 14.4%) accounted for more than half of all notifications of viral hepatitis in 2009.

Tables and Charts for 2009