Australia's notifiable diseases status, 2008: Annual report of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System - Quarantinable diseases

The Australia’s notifiable diseases status, 2008 report provides data and an analysis of communicable disease incidence in Australia during 2008. The full report is available in 16 HTML documents. The full report is also available in PDF format from the Table of contents page.

Page last updated: 30 September 2010

This article {extract} was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Vol 34 No 3 September 2010 and may be downloaded as a full version PDF from the Table of contents page.

Results, continued

Quarantinable diseases

Human diseases covered by the Quarantine Act 1908, and notifiable in Australia and to the WHO in 2008 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 on the following web sites:

Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing web site at:

Smartraveller: The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service at:

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There were no cases of plague, rabies, smallpox, yellow fever, SARS, HPAIH or viral haemorrhagic fevers reported in Australia in 2008. Table 13 provides information on the occurrence of quarantinable diseases in Australia.

Table 13: Australia's status for human quarantinable diseases, 2008

Date of last record and notes
Cholera Free Small number of cases are reported annually22
Plague Free Last case recorded in Australia in 192323
Rabies Free Last case (overseas acquired) recorded in Australia in 199024
Smallpox Free Last case recorded in Australia in 193825
Yellow fever Free No cases recorded on shore in Australia – 5 occasions on which vessels arrived in Australian ports 1892–191523
Severe acute respiratory syndrome Free Last case recorded in Australia in 200326
Highly pathogenic avian influenza in humans Free No cases recorded27
Viral haemorrhagic fevers
Ebola Free No cases recorded28
Marburg Free No cases recorded28
Lassa Free No cases recorded28
Crimean–Congo Free No cases recorded28

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In 2008, 4 cases of cholera were notified in Australia, two from New South Wales and two from Western Australia and all were acquired overseas. One case had travelled to Singapore, 1 case had travelled to the Philippines and 2 cases had travelled to India. 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 1996 and 3 cases in 2006. There have been 16 cases of cholera notified between 2003 and 2007.28

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