Human diseases covered by the Quarantine Act 1908, and notifiable in Australia and to the WHO in 2007 were cholera, plague, rabies, yellow fever, smallpox, highly pathogenic avian influenza in humans (HPAIH), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and 4 viral haemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo).
Cholera, plague, rabies, smallpox, yellow fever, SARS, HPAIH and viral haemorrhagic fevers are of international public health importance as they continue to occur around the world. Travellers are advised to seek information on the risk of contracting these diseases at their destinations and to take appropriate measures. More information on quarantinable diseases and travel health can be found at the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing's web site: http://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-quaranti-index.htm, and the Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
There were no cases of plague, rabies, smallpox, yellow fever, SARS, HPAIH or viral haemorrhagic fevers reported in Australia in 2007. Table 14 provides information on the historical occurrence of these diseases in Australia.
Table 14: Australia's status for human quarantinable diseases, 2007
Date of last record and notes
|Cholera||Free||Small number of cases are reported annually19|
|Plague||Free||Last case recorded in Australia in 192320|
|Rabies||Free||Last case (overseas acquired) recorded in Australia in 199021|
|Smallpox||Free||Last case recorded in Australia in 193822|
|Yellow fever||Free||No cases recorded on shore in Australia – 5 occasions in which vessels arrived in Australian ports 1892–191520|
|Severe acute respiratory syndrome||Free||Last case recorded in Australia in 200323|
|Human pathogenic avian influenza in humans||Free||No cases recorded24|
Viral haemorrhagic fevers
|Ebola||Free||No cases recorded25|
|Marburg||Free||No cases recorded25|
|Lassa||Free||No cases recorded25|
|Crimean–Congo||Free||No cases recorded25|
In 2007, there were 3 cases cholera notified in Australia, two from New South Wales and one from Queensland. All of them were acquired in India.
All cases of cholera reported since the commencement of the NNDSS in 1991 have been acquired outside Australia except 1 case of laboratory-acquired cholera in 1996 and 3 cases in 2006. There have been 20 cases of cholera notified between 2002 and 2007.19
Communicable Diseases Surveillance
This issue - Vol 33 No 2, June 2009
NNDSS Annual report 2007
Communicable Diseases Intelligence