Australia's notifiable diseases status, 2009: Annual report of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System - Quarantinable diseases

The Australia’s notifiable diseases status, 2009 report provides data and an analysis of communicable disease incidence in Australia during 2009. The full report is available in 16 HTML documents. The full report is also available in PDF format from the Table of contents page.

Page last updated: 22 August 2011

This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Vol 35 Number 2, June 2011 and may be downloaded as a full version PDF file (1854 KB).

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Quarantinable diseases

Human diseases covered by the Quarantine Act 1908, and notifiable in Australia and to the WHO in 2009 were cholera, plague, rabies, yellow fever, smallpox, highly pathogenic avian influenza in humans (HPAIH), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), human swine influenza (H1N1) and 4 viral haemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean–Congo).

Cholera, plague, rabies, smallpox, yellow fever, SARS, HPAIH, H1N1 and viral haemorrhagic fevers are of international public health importance. Travellers are advised to seek information on the risk of contracting these diseases at their destinations and to take appropriate measures. More information on quarantinable diseases and travel health can be found on the following web sites:

Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing web site at:

Smartraveller: The Australian Government’s travel advisory and consular assistance service at:

There were no cases of plague, rabies, smallpox, yellow fever, SARS, HPAIH or viral haemorrhagic fevers reported in Australia in 2009. Table 14 provides information on the occurrence of quarantinable diseases in Australia.

Table 14: Australia’s status for human quarantinable diseases, 2009

Date of last record and notes
Cholera Free A small number of cases are reported annually and related to overseas travel or imported food products.27
Plague Free Last case recorded in Australia in 1923.30
Rabies Free Last case (overseas acquired) recorded in Australia in 1990.31
Smallpox Free Last case recorded in Australia in 193832
Yellow fever Free No cases recorded on shore in Australia – 5 occasions on which vessels arrived in Australian ports 1892–1915.30
SARS Free Last case recorded in Australia in 2003.33
HPAIH Free No cases recorded.34
H1N1 Currently circulating as seasonal virus See vaccine preventable diseases section.
Viral haemorrhagic fevers
Ebola Free No cases recorded.35
Marburg Free No cases recorded.35
Lassa Free No cases recorded.35
Crimean–Congo Free No cases recorded.35

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In 2009, there were 4 notifications of cholera reported to the NNDSS in Australia, three from New South Wales and one from Victoria. All were acquired overseas.

All cases of cholera reported since the commencement of the NNDSS in 1991 have been acquired outside Australia except for 1 case of laboratory-acquired cholera in 199636 and 3 cases in 2006.37 There have been 19 cases of cholera notified between 2004 and 2008 (Table 6).

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