Written Answers. - Hepatitis Incidence.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

125 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of cases of Hepatitis A and B reported in 1998; if he will provide a break-down of cases by health board areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22245/98]

The number of cases of viral hepatitis A and viral hepatitis B notified to my Department to the end of September 1998 under the Infectious Diseases Regulations, 1981 is as follows-.

Health Board

Viral Hepatitis A

Viral Hepatitis B

Eastern

70

86

Midland

58

1

Mid-Western

2

3

North-Eastern

5

0

North-Western

0

0

South-Eastern

1

2

Southern

14

1

Western

2

0

Total

152

93

Control of infectious diseases is the statutory responsibility of health boards, which are required to make arrangements for the diagnosis and treatment of persons with such diseases in their functional area.
The Immunisation Committee of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, which is at present reviewing the guidelines on immunisation published in 1996, is considering the issue of appropriate vaccination policy to prevent transmission of infectious diseases, including hepatitis A and hepatitis B. I understand that the committee expects to finalise the revised guidelines shortly. In addition a multi-institutional study into the prevalence of hepatitis B in the population has recently commenced and the results of this study will assist in determining whether additional measures are required in relation to prevention of this disease.