Australia’s notifiable diseases status, 2003: Annual report of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System - Quarantinable diseases

The Australia’s notifiable diseases status, 2003 report provides data and an analysis of communicable disease incidence in Australia during 2003. The full report is available in 20 HTML documents. This document contains the Quarantinable diseases section. The full report is also available in PDF format from the Table of contents page.

Page last updated: 14 April 2005

Megge Miller, Paul Roche, Keflemariam Yohannes, Jenean Spencer, Mark Bartlett, Julia Brotherton, Jenny Hutchinson, Martyn Kirk, Ann McDonald, Claire Vadjic

Results - Quarantinable diseases

Human diseases covered by the Quarantine Act 1908, and notifiable in 2003 were cholera, plague, rabies, yellow fever, and four viral haemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo). In 2003, there were no cases of a quarantinable disease notified in Australia.

Cholera, plague, rabies, yellow fever, and viral haemorrhagic fevers are of international public health importance and are notified to the World Health Organization. Although no local transmission had been reported in Australia, these diseases continue to occur around the world. Travellers are advised to seek information on the risk of contracting these diseases in their destinations and take appropriate measures. Information on quarantinable diseases can be found on the DoHA website.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome

Between November 2002 and July 2003, a clinical syndrome termed severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emerged in Southern China and infected more than 8,000 people causing 774 deaths in 26 countries. In response to this new disease, caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV, the World Health Organization issued a global alert.

The Australian Government declared SARS a quarantinable disease under the Quarantine Act and placed health personnel at all Australian international airports to screen incoming passengers for symptoms associated with SARS. International travellers were provided with information about SARS and travel advisories were issued through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The Australian Government in collaboration with the Communicable Disease Network Australia issued infection control guidelines and advice about SARS to hospitals, health care workers, general practitioners, border control and airline staff and staff at Australian seaports.

More than 100 people were investigated for possible SARS infection of whom five were reported to the WHO as probable cases. A sixth probable case identified by laboratory testing overseas, but who was not under investigation when in Australia, was also reported to WHO.


This article {extract} was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Vol 29 No 1 March 2005 and may be downloaded as a full version PDF from the Table of contents page.

Communicable Diseases Intelligence subscriptions

Sign-up to email updates: Subscribe Now