Health Protection Surveillance Centre
When the media reports an
"outbreak" of a particular disease, have you ever wondered just who
declared the outbreak? Or who gets to decide when an outbreak becomes an
epidemic? In Ireland, these responsibilities lie with the Health Protection
Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
The HPSC is part of the Health Service
Executive (HSE). The agency was set up in 1998 to monitor infectious diseases
in Ireland, and was originally known as the National Disease Surveillance
Centre. The centreís purpose is not solely to announce epidemics, but to
prevent them in future by research and surveillance. The HPSC works alongside
Irish hospitals and doctors to gather the most accurate information possible on
As part of a shared network of similar
organisations worldwide, the HPSC has the most up-to-date information on the
spread of disease here and elsewhere.
What does the HPSC do?
The HPSC is a national centre that
monitors dangerous infectious diseases, and uses its research to inform health
officials and the general public on the latest developments of these diseases
in Ireland. They are responsible for alerting the public and the health
community to outbreaks when they occur, and they conduct research into how such
outbreaks can be controlled or prevented.
The Centre also issues advice to the general
public and healthcare providers. For instance in recent years, the HPSC has
produced guidelines for hospitals on how to prevent the spread of MRSA and on
the prudent use of antibiotics, and has campaigned to parents on the importance
of getting their children vaccinated against measles.
Where can they be contacted?
You can contact the HPSC at:
- Address: 25 - 27 Middle Gardiner Street, Dublin
- Tel: (01) 8765300
- Fax: (01) 8561299
- Email: email@example.com
- Web: www.hpsc.ie