Department of Health

Disease information and advice

A-Z list of blue book diseases with descriptions, notification requirements, school exclusions and management guidelines.

These guidelines for the control of infectious diseases provide detailed information about common and rare diseases that may pose public health concerns. Each topic includes sections on notification requirements.school and childcare exclusion, identification of symptoms, incubation periods, modes of transmission and control measures. These guidelines aim to assist public health practitioners in the prevention and control of infectious diseases.

The guidelines differ depending on the disease. Some diseases are notifiable and have mandatory school exclusions. 

Infectious diseases descriptions, notification requirements and management

Conjunctivitis

Notification is required in Victoria, depending on which pathogen is identified in a case of acute bacterial conjunctivitis. School exclusions apply...

Amoebiasis

Amoebiasis is caused by the parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Most infections are asymptomatic, but can cause intestinal or extra-intestinal disease...

Anthrax

Anthrax must be notified immediately in Victoria. It is an acute bacterial disease that usually affects the skin...

Ascariasis

In Victoria, ascariasis, or roundworm infection, is not notifiable, but school exclusions may apply depending on the patient’s symptoms...

Avian influenza

Avian influenza (AI), commonly called bird flu, is an infectious viral disease of birds. Most AI viruses do not infect humans, but some strains can...

Barmah Forest virus

Barmah Forest virus (BFV) disease is notifiable. In Victoria, the number of notified cases per year varies largely depends on the conditions...

Botulism

Botulism must be notified immediately in Victoria. Foodborne botulism – the most common form of botulism – is severe and often fatal...

Brucellosis

Brucellosis has been eradicated from Australian cattle herds, but it still present in feral pigs in northern Australia and is a risk to those who hunt or butcher wild pigs.

Campylobacter infection

In Victoria, Campylobacter infection must be notified. The infection may be subclinical or cause disease of variable severity...

Chickenpox and shingles

Chickenpox and shingles are contagious diseases that must be notified within 5 days of diagnosis, and can be controlled by vaccination...

Chikungunya virus

Chikungunya virus infection is notifiable in Victoria. The virus has not been detected in Australia; all presenting cases have been infected overseas...

Chlamydia

In Victoria, chlamydia is notifiable. Medical practitioners must also notify Child Protection Service if a child needs protection due to sexual abuse...

Chlamydophila pneumoniae

Chlamydophila pneumoniae is emerging as a frequent cause of both upper and lower respiratory tract infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia...

Cholera

In Victoria, cholera must be notified immediately. It is also subject to Australian quarantine...

Clostridium difficile

C. difficile–associated diarrhoea often presents as colitis during or following antibiotic use. Not all infected people will develop symptoms...

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) must be notified in Victoria. Both classical and variant CJD are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies...

Croup or bronchiolitis

In Australia, croup mainly affects young children. Bronchiolitis predominantly affects children in the first year of life...

Cryptococcosis

Cryptococcus is a fungus that is found in soil and is usually associated with bird droppings. It is found all over the world...

Cryptosporidiosis

Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic infection that commonly presents as gastroenteritis. In Victoria, it is notifiable. School exclusions also apply...

Cytomegalovirus

Primary cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection may cause a mononucleosis-type syndrome. CMV is an important cause of congenital viral infections in Australia...

Dengue fever

Dengue virus infection is notifiable in Victoria. There are two forms – dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever, the latter of which is severe...

Diphtheria

Diphtheria must be notified immediately in Victoria. Exclusion periods apply to both cases and contacts. It is vaccine preventable...

Donovanosis

Donovanosis is notifiable in Victoria. Medical practitioners must also notify Child Protection if they believe a child is being sexually abused...

Erythema infectiosum

Erythema infectiosum, or slapped check disease, is a mild disease that is common in children. Outbreaks are in the winter and spring...

Food or water-borne illness

Two or more related cases of food- or water-borne illness must be notified. The illness can be caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites...

Giardiasis

In Victoria, giardiasis is not notifiable, but school and childcare exclusions still apply. Children are affected more often than adults...

Gonorrhoea

In Victoria, gonorrhoea is a notifiable disease. Medical practitioners must notify Child Protection if they believe that a child is in need of protection on the basis of sexual abuse...

Hib infections

Haemophilus influenzae type b infections must be notified immediately in Victoria. Childhood immunisation is the most important preventive measure...

Hand, foot and mouth disease

In Victoria, hand, foot and mouth disease is not notifiable, but school and childcare exclusions do apply. Outbreaks are common among groups of children...

Hendra virus

In Australia, when Hendra virus is suspected in a horse, an inspector from the livestock health and pest authority or department of primary industries must be notified...

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A must be notified immediately in Victoria. Outbreaks in Victoria have been associated with shellfish, lettuce, strawberries and blueberries...

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B infections must be notified in Victoria. The hepatitis B vaccine is a part of the Australian childhood immunisation program...

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C infection must be notified. Specific information is required to be notified under the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2009...

Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D must be notified in Victoria. Vaccination against hepatitis B prevents hepatitis D virus infection...

Hepatitis E

In Victoria, hepatitis E is a notifiable condition. It is not endemic in Australia, and most cases occur in travellers...

Herpes simplex

Herpes simplex virus infections manifest as cold sores (on the face) and genital herpes (in the genital area)...

HIV and AIDS

HIV is notifiable in Victoria (AIDS is not notifiable). Same-sex contact is the major risk factor for men. In women, it is heterosexual contact and injecting drug use...

Hydatid disease

Hydatid disease (echinococcosis) occurs worldwide and is mainly associated with sheep farming. It can also be acquired from dogs and dingoes in Australia...

Impetigo

Impetigo is a rapidly spreading, highly contagious skin infection that frequently occurs in children’s settings. School and childcare exclusions do apply...

Glandular fever

Infectious mononucleosis is an acute viral infection that mainly affects young adults. Basic hygiene is the only recommended prevention method...

Influenza

Influenza is a notifiable disease. Residential care, healthcare and childcare facilities are all at higher risk of influenza outbreaks...

Pneumococcal disease

Invasive pneumococcal disease is notifiable. S. pneumoniae is a common cause of bacterial meningitis, septicaemia and pneumonia...

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis must be notified immediately in Victoria. Most infections are asymptomatic. The virus is present in the Torres Strait islands...

Legionellosis

In Victoria, legionellosis must be notified immediately. Outbreaks in Australia are generally associated with manufactured water systems...

Leprosy

Leprosy is a notifiable disease in Victoria. Some exclusions apply to leprosy cases. Leprosy is rare in Australia, but is occasionally detected...

Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is notifiable in Victoria. Animal hosts include rats, cows and pigs. Farmers, and farm and meat industry workers are commonly affected...

Listeriosis

Listeriosis must be notified in Victoria, and laboratories must notify Listeria monocytogenes isolated from food or water...

Malaria

Malaria is a notifiable disease in Australia. Malaria is not endemic in Australia, but northern parts of Australia are at risk...

Measles

Measles must be notified immediately in Victoria. Measles is vaccine-preventable, as part of the MMR (measles–mumps–rubella) vaccine...

Melioidosis

Melioidosis is endemic in northern Australia. In parts of the Northern Territory, it is a common cause of community-acquired bacteraemic pneumonia...

Meningitis

Meningococcal disease must be notified immediately in Victoria. Vaccines are available for some meningococcus serogroups...

Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral disease of the skin. It is transmitted by direct contact, fomites or sexual contact...

Mumps

Mumps must be notified within 5 days of diagnosis. School exclusions apply...

Murray Valley virus

Murray Valley encephalitis must be notified immediately in Victoria. It may present as non-encephalitic, encephalitic or asymptomatic disease...

Mycobacteria - non-TB

Lung infections caused by atypical Mycobacterium spp. are not notifiable, and mainly cause infections in immunocompromised people...

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and is notifiable. School exclusions apply. An outbreak in Australia is not likely...

M. ulcerans infection

Mycobacterium ulcerans infection must be notified in Victoria. The exact mode of transmission is unknown...

Nipah virus

Nipah virus infection is a newly emerging zoonosis – first detected in 1998 – that does not have to be notified, but new cases should be reported...

Novel coronavirus 2019

Current information on novel coronavirus...

Head lice

Head lice is very common in children. The prevalence of head lice on Australian primary–school aged children could be 60 per cent in some areas...

Pertussis

In Australia, pertussis is becoming more common. Confirmed pertussis (or whooping cough) must be notified within five days of diagnosis...

Pinworm

The pinworm is the most common helminth parasite of temperate regions. These infections are found worldwide and affect all socioeconomic groups...

Plague

Plague must be notified immediately in Victoria and is subject to quarantine. Y. pestis, the infectious bacterium, is not endemic in Australia...

Polio

In Victoria, poliomyelitis must be notified immediately. School exclusions apply. Vaccination is the best way to prevent and eradicate poliomyelitis...

Psittacosis

Psittacosis is notifiable in Victoria. C. psittaci is highly infectious, and people can become infected after close contact with infected birds...

Q fever

Q fever is a notifiable disease in Victoria. Q fever is an occupational hazard for workers who work closely with animals...

Rabies – lyssavirus

Rabies and Australian bat lyssavirus are both notifiable in Victoria. Rabies is quarantinable in Australia, and cases must be reported to WHO...

Rickettsial disease

There are several important rickettsial diseases in Australia. There is no vaccine, so people must protect themselves with pesticides and repellents...

Ringworm

Ringworm, or tinea, is not notifiable in Victoria, but does have exclusion periods. All ages are susceptible to ringworm infections...

Ross River virus

Ross River virus (RRV) infection is notifiable in Victoria. RRV is Australia’s most common and widespread arboviral disease...

Rotavirus

Rotavirus is notifiable in Victoria, but exclusions do apply. An outbreak is two or more related cases...

Rubella

Rubella is a notifiable disease. Rubella is not common in Australia, due to widespread vaccination with the measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccine...

Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is a notifiable disease in Victoria, and school exclusions apply. Victoria has about 2,000 cases of salmonellosis reported each year...

Scabies

Scabies is a highly contagious parasitic skin infestation. (Norwegian) scabies is a particularly virulent infestation...

SARS

SARS must be notified immediately in Victoria. Health authorities are vigilant in SARS surveillance, to quickly detect another outbreak...

Shigellosis

In Victoria, shigellosis is a notifiable disease, and school exclusions apply. The infectious dose is low, and may be as few as 10 organisms...

Smallpox

Smallpox must be notified immediately in Victoria. Smallpox is a severe, prostrating illness characterised by fever and a rash...

Staph infections

Staphylococcal infection is usually mild, but methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is of growing concern in hospitals and the community...

Streptococcal disease

Group A streptococci (GAS) causes a variety of infections, from throat and skin infections, to fevers and severe invasive diseases...

Syphilis

Syphilis – a complex disease with many sequelae – is notifiable in Victoria. Child Protection must be notified if a child could be sexually abused...

Taeniasis

Both pork (Taenia solium) and beef (T. saginata) tapeworm can cause intestinal infections in people...

Tetanus

Tetanus is a potentially fatal disease that must be notified in Victoria. Tetanus toxoid is part of the Australian childhood immunisation schedule...

Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasma gondii – a protozoan – occurs worldwide in mammals and birds. The main host in Australia is the domestic cat...

Typhoid

Typhoid and paratyphoid must be notified immediately in Victoria. Most cases are in returned travellers, especially from southern Asia...

Verotoxin-producing E. coli

In Victoria, haemolytic uraemic syndrome must be notified immediately. VTEC and STEC must also be notified...

Gastro (not rotavirus)

In Victoria, viral gastroenteritis (not rotavirus) cases should be excluded. Norovirus is the major cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis outbreaks...

Haemorrhagic fevers

In Victoria, viral haemorrhagic fevers – in particular, Crimean-Congo, Ebola, Lassa and Marburg – are of concern and must be notified immediately...

West Nile and Kunjin virus

West Nile and Kunjin virus infection are notifiable diseases in Victoria. Kunjin virus is found in parts of Australia, but West Nile virus is not...

Yellow fever

In Victoria, yellow fever must be notified immediately and is subject to Australian quarantine. The World Health Organization must also be notified.

Reviewed 27 October 2021

Health.vic

Contact details

Do not email patient notifications.

Communicable Disease Section Department of Health GPO Box 4057, Melbourne, VIC 3000

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