Australia's notifiable diseases status, 1999: Annual report of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System

This article published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 25, No 4, November 2001 contains the 1999 annual report of National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. This annual report is available as 32 HTML documents and is also available in PDF format.

Page last updated: 17 December 2001

A print friendly PDF version is available from this Communicable Diseases Intelligence issue's table of contents.

Paul Roche,1 Jenean Spencer,1 Ming Lin,1 Heather Gidding,2 Martyn Kirk,3 Margo Eyeson-Annan,1 Alison Milton,1 David Witteveen,1 Angela Merianos1

Abstract | Author affiliations

With contributions from:

National organisations
  • Communicable Diseases Network Australia
  • Australian Childhood Immunisation Register
  • Australian Gonococcal Surveillance Programme
  • Australian meningococcal Surveillance Programme
  • Australian Sentinel Practice Research Network
  • Australian Quarantine Inspection Service
  • National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research
  • National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases
  • National Enteric Pathogens Surveillance Scheme
  • National Rotavirus Research Centre
  • Sentinel Chicken Surveillance Programme
  • The National CJD Registry
  • WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza
State and Territory health departments
  • Communicable Diseases Control Unit, ACT Department of Health and Community Care, ACT
  • Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control Unit, NSW Health Department, New South Wales
  • Centre for Disease Control, Territory Health Services, Northern Territory
  • Communicable Diseases Unit, Queensland Health, Queensland
  • Communicable Diseases Control Branch, South Australian Health Commission, South Australia
  • Communicable Diseases Surveillance, Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania
  • Communicable Diseases Section, Department of Human Services, Victoria
  • Communicable Diseases Control Branch, Health Department of Western Australia, Western Australia


In 1999 there were 88,239 notifications of communicable diseases in Australia reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). The number of notifications in 1999 was an increase of 3 per cent on notifications in 1998 (85,227) and the second largest reporting year since the NNDSS commenced in 1991. Notifications in 1999 consisted of 29,977 bloodborne infections (34% of total), 22,255 gastrointestinal infections (25%), 21,704 sexually transmitted infections (25%), 5,986 vector borne infections (7%), 5,228 vaccine preventable infections (6%), 1,967 (2%) other bacterial infections (legionella, meningococcal, leprosy and tuberculosis), 1,012 zoonotic infections (1%) and 3 quarantinable infections (0.003%). Notifications of bloodborne viral diseases particularly hepatitis B and hepatitis C and some sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia continue to increase in Australia. Steep declines in vaccine preventable diseases such as Haemophilus influenzae type b, measles, mumps and rubella continued in 1999. This report also summarises data on communicable diseases from other surveillance systems including the Laboratory Virology and Serology Surveillance Scheme (LabVISE) and sentinel general practitioner schemes. In addition this report comments on other important developments in communicable disease control in Australia in 1999. Commun Dis Intell 2001;25:190-245.

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Author affiliations

1. Surveillance Section, Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

2. National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Westmead, New South Wales, 2124

3. Coordinating Epidemiologist, OzFoodNet, Australia New Zealand Food Authority and Department of Health and Ageing.

Corresponding author: Dr Paul Roche, Epidemiologist, Surveillance Section, Department of Health and Ageing, GPO Box 9848, Canberra, ACT 2601. Telephone: +61 2 6289 8152. Facsimile: +61 2 6289 7791. E-mail:

This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 25, No 4, November 2001.

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