For more information on communicable diseases, please see the fact sheets below or contact the Communicable Disease Control Section on (02) 5124 9213.
Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax is a very rare but serious and life-threatening disease in humans.
Anthrax Fact Sheet
In Australia, Campylobacter is considered the most common cause of bacterial gastroenteritis and is frequently associated with the handling and consumption of contaminated chicken meat.
Campylobacter Fact Sheet
Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral illness caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Most children experience a relatively mild illness, but in adults and immunosuppressed people chickenpox can be severe.
Chickenpox Fact Sheet
Cryptosporidium is a gastrointestinal infection caused by a parasite called Cryptosporidium. Symptoms usually include watery diarrhoea and abdominal pain.
Cryptosporidiosis fact sheet
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a serious disease caused by the Ebola virus. There are several strains of the virus. EVD was previously called Ebola haemorrhagic fever.
Ebola Virus Disease
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmissible infection spread by having unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex (sex without a condom) with a person who is infected.
Gonorrhoea Fact Sheet
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A occurs worldwide but is more common in developing countries. Most people get hepatitis A directly from an infected person. Hepatitis A is spread via the faecal-oral route.
Hepatitis A Fact Sheet
Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is found in the blood and body fluids of people with the virus.
Hepatitis B Fact Sheet
Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C is found in the blood of people with the virus.
Hepatitis C Fact Sheet
Hepatitis E is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis E virus. Cases in Australia are most often associated with recent travel to endemic countries such as North Africa, the Middle East, and many parts of central and south-east Asia. Hepatitis E is spread via the faecal-oral route.
Hepatitis E Fact Sheet
Influenza, more commonly known as 'flu', is a highly contagious viral respiratory illness that can affect people of all ages.
Influenza (Flu) Fact Sheet
Antiviral medications can be used for the treatment and prevention of influenza.
Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) Fact Sheet
Immunisation each year is recommended to reduce the risk of catching the flu.
Annual Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
For more information about influenza infection or vaccination, please see our Winter wellbeing and flu page.
Invasive Pneumococcal Disease
Invasive Pneumococcal Disease is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. Types of 'invasive' pneumococcal disease (IPD) include:
- meningitis (infection of the membranes around the brain)
- pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and;
- bacteraemia (infection of the blood)
Invasive Pneumococcal Disease Fact Sheet
Legionnaires’ Disease, also known as Legionellosis, is an infection of the lungs (pneumonia) by bacteria of the Legionella family. Infection occurs when a person breathes in bacteria that are commonly found in the environment.
Legionnaires’ disease Fact Sheet
Listeriosis is an infection caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria is commonly found in soil, water, sewage and the intestinal tracts of animals. Listeriosis can be caused by contact with these sources or eating contaminated foods.
Listeriosis Fact Sheet
Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted between humans by infected mosquitoes. Malaria is an infection of the red blood cells, causing recurring fever with sudden onset.
Malaria Fact Sheet
Measles is a serious and highly contagious viral illness that is caused by the measles virus. Measles is not common in Australia because of high levels of immunisation.
Measles information sheet
Measles: Information for Contacts
Measles contacts are people who shared the same air as someone while they were infectious with measles (for example, being in the same room as someone with measles). The following fact sheet provides information to people who may have been exposed to measles.
Measles - Information for Contacts
Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis (also known as meningococcus). Meningococcal bacteria can cause meningitis (infection of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord) and/or bacteraemia (infection of the blood). These are both severe infections that may lead to death.
Meningococcal Disease Fact Sheet
Information for close contacts who require clearance antibiotics
If you have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, you may require clearance antibiotics.
Meningococcal Information for close contacts
Ciprofloxacin is another antibiotic which is sometimes given to people who have been in close contact with a person who has a meningococcal infection.
Ciprofloxacin Fact Sheet
Rifampicin is one type of antibiotic which is sometimes given to people who have been in close contact with a person who has meningococcal disease.
Rifampicin Fact Sheet
Mumps is an infectious disease caused by the mumps virus. Though once a very common infection in children, high childhood immunisation rates in Australia have resulted in a dramatic reduction in rates of mumps infection and it is now not very common.
Mumps Information Sheet
Norovirus is a very common viral infection that causes gastroenteritis. It is highly contagious and often causes outbreaks, particularly in aged care facilities, child care centres, schools and hospitals. Outbreaks can occur at any time of the year but are more common during winter and into spring.
Norovirus Fact Sheet
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is a highly infectious respiratory illness caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It can affect people at any age. Infants less than 6 months of age are most at risk of developing serious complications from the disease.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Psittacosis (also known as ornithosis and parrot fever) is an uncommon human disease caused by the bacteria called Chlamydophila psittaci. It is usually transmitted to humans from birds, normally those in the parrot family (parrots, lorikeets, galahs, cockatoos, budgerigars etc).
Psittacosis Fact Sheet
Q fever is an illness caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. It is spread to humans from cattle, sheep and goats and a range of other domestic and wild animals.
Q fever Fact Sheet
Rabies and Australian Bat Lyssavirus
Rabies virus and the Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV) are in the same virus family and can cause fatal disease in humans. Rabies is a disease that primarily affects animals that bite and scratch. ABLV is a virus that is closely related to rabies, which rarely infects humans and is spread by bats.
Rabies and Australian Bat Lyssavirus Infection Fact sheet
Rubella, also known as german measles, is an infectious disease caused by the rubella virus. Rubella is not very common in Australia now due to high levels of immunisation.
Rubella information sheet
Salmonellosis is an infection caused by a group of bacteria called Samonella. People become unwell after swallowing bacteria. Usually this happens after eating inadequately cooked food, by cross-contamination or person to person spread.
Salmonella Fact Sheet
Scabies is a highly transmissible skin infestation caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. These mites burrow into the skin where they live and reproduce. Eggs laid in the burrows hatch, crawl out onto the skin and make new burrows.
Scabies Fact Sheet
Sexual Health Fact Sheets
For more information on sexually transmitted infections, please see sexually transmitted infections (STI) fact sheets.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS)
Escherichia coli (E. coli) are bacteria that can be found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. Some types of E. coli, such as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) release a toxin that causes gastroenteritis. Around 5% of STEC cases may develop a sometimes fatal condition called Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS), characterised by kidney failure, bleeding and anaemia.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS) Fact sheet
Shigellosis is an infection caused by a bacterium called Shigella. The symptoms usually include diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Sometimes the diarrhoea can contain blood and mucus.
Shigellosis Fact sheet
Shingles (or herpes zoster) is caused by a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox.
Shingles Fact Sheet
Tuberculosis (TB) is a curable disease caused by the bacteria (germ) Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB can damage a person's lungs or other parts of the body and cause serious illness. TB spreads through the air when a person with TB disease in the lungs or throat, coughs, sneezes or speaks.
Tuberculosis Fact Sheet
Typhoid and Paratyphoid fever
Typhoid and Paratyphoid fever is caused by an infection with bacteria called Salmonella Typhi. In Australia, most typhoid infections are acquired overseas and occur after eating contaminated food or water in countries where typhoid is common.
Typhoid and Paratyphoid fever Fever Fact Sheet
Viral gastroenteritis is a common infection of the stomach and bowel that results in vomiting and diarrhoea. It is usually a mild illness and can be caused by a number of different viruses including Norovirus and Rotavirus.
Viral Gastroenteritis Fact Sheet