New Infectious Diseases Decree specifies disease classification
The new Government Decree on Infectious Diseases defines which diseases are classified as generally hazardous infectious diseases and which as monitored infectious diseases. The decree also lays down provisions on the responsibilities of the authorities and infectious disease physicians and the division of duties concerning the prevention of infectious diseases. The decree is based on the new Infectious Diseases Act that entered into force on 1 March. The Decree on Infectious Diseases will enter into force on 13 March.
Generally hazardous infectious diseases are dangerous, highly infectious or quick-spreading diseases, such as tuberculosis and diphtheria. Measles, too, is now classified as a generally hazardous infectious disease. The classification of diseases enables for example the isolation of a person who has contracted a generally hazardous infectious disease to prevent further infection.
A disease is classified as a monitored infectious disease if a doctor needs more information than normal to ensure that the tests and treatments are carried out properly. Monitored diseases are so serious that the doctor must report them to the National Infectious Diseases Register maintained by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
Monitored infectious diseases include, for example, rubella, mumps and pertussis. These diseases have been brought under control in Finland thanks to the national vaccination programme. Other monitored diseases include hepatitis C, HIV, chlamydia and malaria.
Liisa Katajamäki, Ministerial Counsellor for Legal Affairs, tel. +358 295 63329
Anni-Riitta Virolainen Julkunen, Ministerial Counsellor for Medical Affairs, tel. +358 295 63324
Sari Ekholm, Senior Medical Officer, tel. +358 295 63447
• Fighting infectious diseases
• Questions and answers on the new Infectious Diseases Act (In Finnish)