Australia's notifiable diseases status, 2002: Annual report of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System - Abstract/authors

The Australia’s notifiable diseases status, 2002 report provides data and an analysis of communicable disease incidence in Australia during 2002. The full report is available in 20 HTML documents. This document contains the Abstract and authors. The full report is also available in PDF format from the Table of contents page.

Page last updated: 04 March 2004

This article {extract} was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Vol 29 No 1 March 2005 and may be downloaded as a full version PDF from the Table of contents page.

Keflemariam Yohannes, Paul Roche, Charlie Blumer, Jenean Spencer, Alison Milton, Chris Bunn, Heather Gidding, Martyn Kirk, Tony Della-Porta


There were 55 infectious diseases notifiable at the national level in Australia in 2002. States and territories reported 100,278 cases of infectious diseases to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), a fall of 4 per cent compared to the number of notifications in 2001. In 2002, the most frequently notified diseases were, sexually transmitted infections (31,933 reports, 32% of total notifications), gastrointestinal infections (26,708 reports, 27% of total notifications) and bloodborne infections (23,741, 24%). There were 11,711 (12% of total) cases of vaccine preventable diseases, 3,052 (3% of total) cases of vectorborne diseases, 1,155 (1% of total) cases of zoonotic infections, two cases of quarantinable diseases (Vibrio cholerae O1) and 1,980 cases of other bacterial diseases, notified to NNDSS. Compared to 2001, notifications of sexually transmitted infections increased by 16 per cent and gastrointestinal infections by 2 per cent while bloodborne infections fell by 18 per cent. The number of notifications of chlamydial infection and Q fever were the highest since 1991 and 1995 respectively. By contrast, the number of notification for hepatitis A and measles were the lowest since 1991. For other notifiable diseases, the number of notifications was within the range of the five years between 1997 and 2002 (range = five-year mean plus or minus two standard deviations). This report also includes 2002 summary data on communicable diseases from other surveillance systems including the Laboratory Virology and Serology Reporting Scheme and sentinel general practitioner schemes. Commun Dis Intell 2004;28:6-68.

Author affiliations

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

2. Principal Veterinary Officer, Animal Health and Welfare Branch, Bureau of Resources Sciences, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestries, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

3. Epidemiology Research Officer, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Westmead, New South Wales

4. Coordinating Epidemiologist, OzFoodNet, Australian New Zealand Food Authority and Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

5. Manager, Technical and Support Services, Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Geelong, Victoria

Corresponding author: Mr Keflemariam Yohannes, Surveillance and Epidemiology Section, Department of Health and Ageing, PO Box 9848 (MDP 6), CANBERRA ACT 2601. Telephone: +61 2 6289 4415. Facsimile: +61 2 6289 7791. Email:

With contributions from:

National organisations

Communicable Diseases Network Australia and subcommittees

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 Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Registry

World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza

State and territory health departments

Communicable Diseases Control Unit, Australian Capital Territory Department of Health and Community Care, Australian Capital Territory

Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Control Unit, New South Wales Health Department, New South Wales

Centre for Disease Control, Northern Territory Department of Health and Community Services, Northern Territory

Communicable Diseases Unit, Queensland Health, Queensland

Communicable Diseases Control Branch, South Australian Department of Human Services, 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

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