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Notifying infectious diseases and blood lead within Victoria

Page content: Overview | What you need to notify | Related notification information | Condition groupings | Notification methods | Why notify? | Laboratory notification | What happens with notification? | Download documents | Privacy legislation | Enquiries | Related information

Overview

Health authorities depend on medical practitioners and laboratories for information on the incidence of infectious diseases. Notification is vital in efforts to prevent or control the spread of infection.

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires that prescribed conditions are notified to the Department of Health by persons in charge of pathology services (laboratories) and medical practitioners (doctors). See also related information.

What you need to notify

This table provides options to send notification of infectious disease. See related notification information.

Notifiable Condition Group When to Notify Click preferred method of notification
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) D Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Anthrax A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Arbovirus infection - Other/NFS B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Barmah Forest virus infection B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Botulism A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Brucellosis B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Campylobacter infection B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Chikungunya virus A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Chlamydial trachomatis infection C Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Cholera A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - classical (CJD) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease - variant (vCJD) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Cryptosporidiosis B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Dengue virus infection B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Diphtheria A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Donovanosis C Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Food or water borne illness (2 or more related cases) A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Gonococcal infection C Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Haemophilius influenzae type b infection (Hib) - Epiglottitis A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Haemophilius influenzae type b infection (Hib) - Meningitis A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Haemophilius influenzae type b infection (Hib) - NFS A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Hepatitis A A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Hepatitis B - newly acquired B Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Hepatitis B - unspecified B Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Hepatitis C - newly acquired B Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Hepatitis C - unspecified B Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Hepatitis D B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Hepatitis E B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Hepatitis viral (not further specified) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection - Newly acquired D Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection - Unspecified D Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Influenza type A (laboratory confirmed) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Influenza type B (laboratory confirmed) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Japanese encephalitis A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Kunjin virus infection B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Lead (blood lead >10 ug/dL) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Legionellosis A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Leprosy B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Leptospirosis B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Listeriosis B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Lyssavirus - Australian Bat lyssavirus B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Lyssavirus - other/NFS B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Malaria B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Measles A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Meningococcal infection (invasive) A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Mumps B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Murray Valley encephalitis virus A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Mycobacterium ulcerans B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Paratyphoid A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Pertussis B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Plague A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Pneumococcal infection (invasive) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Poliomyelitis A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Psittacosis (ornithosis) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Q fever B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Rabies A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Ross River virus infection B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Rubella B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Rubella - congenital B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Salmonellosis B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Shigatoxin and Verotoxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC/VTEC) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Shigellosis B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Smallpox A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Syphilis - >2 years/unknown duration C Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Syphilis - Congenital C Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Syphilis - Infectious <2 years C Within 5 days Online   Enhanced reporting form   Notifiable conditions form
Tetanus B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Tuberculosis B Within 5 days     Enhanced reporting form  
Tularaemia A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Typhoid A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Varicella - chickenpox B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Varicella - herpes zoster (shingles) B Within 5 days Online     Notifiable conditions form
Viral haemorrhagic fevers A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form
Yellow fever A Immediately Online     Notifiable conditions form

Related notification information

Condition groupings

Group A - Conditions require immediate notification to the Department of Health by telephone upon initial diagnosis (presumptive or confirmed) with written notification to follow within five days.

Group B - Conditions require written notification only within five days of diagnosis (presumptive or confirmed).

Group C - Conditions include the sexually transmissible diseases and should be notified using the same form. To preclude identification of the patient, only the first two letters of the given and family name of the patient are required.

Group D - Conditions include HIV infection (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) and written notification is required within five days of confirmation of diagnosis. A separate form is used for this purpose due to the need to have national uniformity in collection of data.

Summary

Notify all conditions using

  • Fax: 1300 651 170 (local call cost)
    or
  • Post: Reply Paid 65937 Melbourne VIC 8060
    or
  • the table above, What you need to notify

NOTE: Group A conditions should also be notified by phone: 1300 651 160 (local call).

Notification methods

Standard notification forms apply for all group A, B and C conditions and contain the minimum mandatory information required. Using the standard form, you can notify securely online or download a form to complete and post or fax later.

Enhanced notification forms are available for specified diseases where indicated. These enhanced forms collect the same mandatory information as the standard form as well as additional optional epidemiological data about the case.

Important:
  • If notifying online, please read the security and privacy notice on the first page of the online notification form
  • Do not email notifications.

 

Why notify?

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires that prescribed notifiable conditions are notified to the Department of Health by persons in charge of pathology services (laboratories) and medical practitioners (doctors). The prescribed notifiable conditions are listed in Schedule 4 of the Public Health & Wellbeing Regulations 2009.

The regulations state that doctors are required to notify the department of suspected and confirmed cases and laboratories are required to notify the department when a test indicates a person may have or has any notifiable condition.

The information collected from doctors and laboratories is used to detect outbreaks and prevent further cases, monitor disease epidemiology, and implement interventions like immunisation to protect public health.

Timely notification from doctors often provides more comprehensive information - particularly on risk factors - and enables the department to identify sources of exposure and implement strategies to prevent further cases where appropriate. Laboratories provide important information such as confirmation of the diagnosis and sero/subtyping.

Having both doctors and laboratories notify provides an important safety net for the capture of crucial data on prescribed conditions affecting the Victorian community.

Laboratory notification

Around Australia and overseas, it has been recognised that laboratory notification of infectious diseases should be an integral part of any disease surveillance system.

Laboratories are required to notify tests indicating:

  • the probable presence of a human pathogenic organism associated with an infectious disease listed above, see What you need to notify
  • blood lead greater than 10μg/dL, whether or not the test was requested as part of routine biological monitoring as prescribed by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007.

The notification should state

  • the laboratory finding
  • the family name and given name of the patient (except for Group C conditions)
  • the age, sex and postcode of the patient and
  • the name, address and telephone number of the doctor requesting the test.

In addition to the above, the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations require notification from laboratories of the following micro-organisms isolated or detected in food or water supplies:

  • Campylobacter spp
  • Cryptosporidium spp
  • Salmonella spp
  • Verotoxin producing Escherichia coli (VTEC)
  • Vibrio spp
  • Giardia cysts
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Cyclospora spp
  • Hepatitis A
  • Novovirus.

Immediate notification must be made by telephone followed by notice in writing within 5 days specifying the micro-organism isolated or detected, date of isolation or detection, source (food or water) and any batch identification (if appropriate).

  • Important - Do not email notifications.

What happens with the notification?

The Department conducts surveillance on infectious diseases to pinpoint outbreaks, to prevent the spread of infection and prevent further exposure. For certain conditions Public Health Officers conduct further investigations. This may involve contacting the patient to obtain more detailed information.

In most cirumstances department staff will not contact the patient without seeking the consent of the notifying doctor.

The Department publishes annual, quarterly and daily surveillance reports online and in hard copy.

Download documents

  Quick guide for notifiable conditions in Victoria

To make notifying as simple as possible the department provides:

  • Reply Paid envelopes (no stamps required)
  • notification pads.

  Standard: Notifiable conditions form

  Standard: Notifiable conditions package

  Notification of hepatitis B

  Notification of hepatitis C

  Standard: Notification of HIV form (for new diagnosis confirmed by VIDRL only)

  Notification of death in a person with HIV infection

  Standard: Notification of AIDS

  Enhanced: Notification of sexually transmissible infection

  Enhanced: Notification of tuberculosis

  Notification of tuberculosis follow up

Privacy legislation

State and federal legislation aims to protect the privacy of an individual's health information. The documents above explain how relevant legislation applies to medical practitioners, and how the privacy of patient's health information is protected.

  Privacy legislation infectious diseases for doctors

  Privacy legislation infectious diseases for patients

See also Privacy

Enquiries

For all enquiries

Related information

 

 


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