Australia's notifiable diseases status, 1998: Annual report of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System - Quarantinable diseases

The Australia’s notifiable diseases status 1998 report provides data and an analysis of communicable disease incidence in Australia during 1998. This section of the annual report contains the section on quarantinable diseases. The full report can be viewed in 12 HTML documents and is also available in PDF format.

Page last updated: 11 November 1999

This article {extract} was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 23 Number 11 - 28 October 1999 and may be downloaded as a full version PDF from the Table of contents page.

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Quarantinable diseases

In Australia, the diseases proclaimed under the Quarantine Act 1908 to be quarantinable are cholera, plague, rabies, yellow fever and four viral haemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo). Cholera, plague, yellow fever and the viral haemorrhagic fevers are of international public health significance and are reported to the World Health Organization. Rabies is a disease of both human and animal quarantine importance in Australia, which has status as a rabies-free country.

These diseases are notified to the NNDSS by all States and Territories, except for rabies which is not notifiable in New South Wales. However, all cases of quarantinable diseases are formally notified to the National Centre for Disease Control by all States and Territories as they occur, regardless of whether they are notified to the NNDSS.


Four reports of cholera were received in 1998, similar to 1997. There was one from New South Wales, one from Queensland and two from Victoria. All cases were acquired overseas.

Plague, rabies, yellow fever and viral haemorrhagic fevers

There were no cases of these diseases notified in 1998.


Cases of cholera continue to be reported in travellers returning from foreign countries, particularly from Asia. These cases demonstrate the importance of travellers consuming safe food and drink in areas where cholera is known to occur. In general, travellers should be aware of how to avoid the diseases which are commonly reported in many Asian and South Pacific countries.

Although no cases of rabies or yellow fever were reported in Australia, worldwide these two diseases continue to cause fatalities and travellers should be aware of measures that they can take to prevent infection with these viruses. Travellers intending to visit central Africa or central South America are encouraged to receive the yellow fever vaccine from an approved Australian vaccination centre. Information on the quarantinable diseases can be found on the Department of Health and Aged Care Website at:

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