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Communicable Diseases Surveillance consists of data from various sources. The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) is conducted under the auspices of the Communicable Diseases Network Australia New Zealand. The Virology and Serology Laboratory Reporting Scheme (LabVISE) is a sentinel surveillance scheme. The Australian Sentinel Practice Research Network (ASPREN) is a general practitioner-based sentinel surveillance scheme. In this report, data from the NNDSS are referred to as 'notifications' or 'cases', whereas those from ASPREN are referred to as 'consultations' or 'encounters' while data from the LabVISE scheme are referred to as 'laboratory reports'.
Vaccine preventable diseasesThe number of notifications of pertussis infection which had been falling and then appeared to plateau have now risen with 395 reports for this period compared with 324 in the previous reporting period. Examination of the historical data (Figure 3) shows that pertussis notifications are relatively low, mainly because of the large numbers reported in late 1997 and early 1998. Laboratory reporting of pertussis for this period and for the year to date is lower in comparison with similar periods in 1997.
Laboratory reports of measles and rubella continue to decline this month with the lowest number of reports for year to date since the LabVISE scheme was started. The number of reports through the NNDSS is also low and is compared with historical data in Figure 3.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)The number of reports of RSV from the labVISE system continued to decline this month after peaking in August this year with 1,767 reports. Although overall laboratory reporting was similar to that for previous years this year's peak was both higher and later than previous peaks (Figures 1 and 2). Eighty-three per cent of reports were for infants in the under five-year age group.
Figure 1. LabVISE reports of RSV, 1996 to 1998, by month
Figure 2. LabVISE reports of RSV, January 1993 to November 1998
Ross River virus infectionThe total number of notifications for 1998 has been lower than in the previous couple of years but a rise has been seen for this reporting period (from 50 in the previous reporting period to 198 in the current one). When examined by onset date, number of cases has risen from 72 in October to 172 in November 1998. Most reports are from NSW and Qld. This may represent the beginning of the increase expected in the Summer months.
CampylobacterThe total number of notifications with onset in October and November 1998 has risen compared with the numbers seen in previous years, particularly in Victoria and South Australia. This is reflected in the historical figure (Figure 3).
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 22, No 13, 24 December 1998.