This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Vol 35 Number 2, June 2011 and may be downloaded as a full version PDF file (1854 KB).
Human diseases covered by the Quarantine Act 1908, and notifiable in Australia and to the WHO in 2009 were cholera, plague, rabies, yellow fever, smallpox, highly pathogenic avian influenza in humans (HPAIH), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), human swine influenza (H1N1) and 4 viral haemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean–Congo).
Cholera, plague, rabies, smallpox, yellow fever, SARS, HPAIH, H1N1 and viral haemorrhagic fevers are of international public health importance. 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 on the following web sites:
Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing web site at: http://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-quaranti-index.htm
Smartraveller: The Australian Government’s travel advisory and consular assistance service at: 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 2009. Table 14 provides information on the occurrence of quarantinable diseases in Australia.
Table 14: Australia’s status for human quarantinable diseases, 2009
Date of last record and notes
|Cholera||Free||A small number of cases are reported annually and related to overseas travel or imported food products.27|
|Plague||Free||Last case recorded in Australia in 1923.30|
|Rabies||Free||Last case (overseas acquired) recorded in Australia in 1990.31|
|Smallpox||Free||Last case recorded in Australia in 193832|
|Yellow fever||Free||No cases recorded on shore in Australia – 5 occasions on which vessels arrived in Australian ports 1892–1915.30|
|SARS||Free||Last case recorded in Australia in 2003.33|
|HPAIH||Free||No cases recorded.34|
|H1N1||Currently circulating as seasonal virus||See vaccine preventable diseases section.|
Viral haemorrhagic fevers
|Ebola||Free||No cases recorded.35|
|Marburg||Free||No cases recorded.35|
|Lassa||Free||No cases recorded.35|
|Crimean–Congo||Free||No cases recorded.35|
In 2009, there were 4 notifications of cholera reported to the NNDSS in Australia, three from New South Wales and one from Victoria. All were acquired overseas.
All cases of cholera reported since the commencement of the NNDSS in 1991 have been acquired outside Australia except for 1 case of laboratory-acquired cholera in 199636 and 3 cases in 2006.37 There have been 19 cases of cholera notified between 2004 and 2008 (Table 6).
This issue - Vol 35 No 2, June 2011
NNDSS Annual report 2009