Surveillance of infectious diseases at work (SIDAW)

SIDAW was a surveillance scheme that started in 1996 for consultants in communicable disease control (CCDC's) to report cases of work-related infectious disease.  The UK Health and Safety Executive funded SIDAW until 2009 and COEH kept the scheme running until December 2015.  A total of 203 CCDC's reported to the scheme during that period; all reporters returned cases or nil returns on a monthly (core) basis.

The 9 main diagnostic categories reportable to SIDAW were:

* Brucellosis

* Hepatitis

* Legionellosis

* Leptospirosis

* Ornithosis

* Pulmonary tuberculosis

* Q Fever

* Other (including Scabies)

* Diarrhoeal disease

In addition to the main diagnostic category, CCDC's were asked to provide information on gender, age, postcode (first half), occupation, industry, suspected agent, basis for diagnosis (e.g. serology, isolation), date of symptom onset and whether classed as a single case or outbreak.

A total of 17,487 case reports were collected between 1996-2015.  Three quarters (75%) of the diagnoses were reported under diarrhoeal disease with a further 15% diagnosed as brucellosis, 9% diagnosed as scabies and much smaller proportions reported under the remaining categories.

SIDAW helped to monitor the incidence of infectious diseases on a national scale. Infectious diseases continue to be reported by occupational physicians through the OPRA scheme, though on a much lesser scale, and are usually cases of diarrhoeal disease and scabies in hospital staff. Respiratory physicians through SWORD and dermatologists through EPIDERM also report some cases of work-related infectious disease.

For information relating to SIDAW please contact Susan Taylor -


We would once again like to extend our thanks to all the physicians who participated in SIDAW