Australia’s notifiable disease status, 2014: Annual report of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System: - Part 2

The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System monitors the incidence of an agreed list of communicable diseases in Australia. This report analyses notifications during 2014.

Page last updated: 11 April 2016

Results - Part 1

There were 275,581 communicable disease notifications received by NNDSS in 2014 (Table 3).

Table 3: Notifications to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, Australia, 2014, by disease category rank order
Disease category Number %
Sexually transmitted infections 105,719 38
Vaccine preventable diseases 101,400 37
Gastrointestinal diseases 40,367 15
Bloodborne diseases 17,411 6
Vectorborne diseases 8,125 3
Other bacterial diseases 1,942 1
Zoonoses 615 0
Quarantinable diseases 2 0
Total 275,581 100

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In 2014, the most frequently notified diseases were sexually transmissible infections (105,719 notifications, 38% of total notifications), vaccine preventable diseases (101,400 notifications, 37% of total notifications), and gastrointestinal diseases (40,367 notifications, 15% of total notifications).

There was an increase of 22% compared with the total number of notifications in 2013 (226,041) (Figure 2). The increase can largely be attributed to the seasonal increase in influenza notifications for 2014, which reached a higher peak than in previous seasons.

Figure 2: Trends in notifications received by the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, Australia, 1991 to 2014

bar chart. text description follows

Text version of Figure 2 (TXT 1 KB)

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Notifications and notification rates per 100,000 for each disease by state or territory in 2014, are shown in Table 4 and Table 5 respectively. Notifications and rates per 100,000 for the period 2009 to 2014 are shown in Table 6.

Table 4: Notified cases of communicable diseases, Australia, 2014, by state or territory
Disease State or territory Aust.
ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas. Vic. WA

* Newly acquired hepatitis and syphilis < 2 years duration includes cases where the infection was determined to be acquired within 24 months prior to diagnosis.

† Unspecified hepatitis and syphilis includes cases where the duration of infection could not be determined or is greater than 24 months.

‡ In Queensland, includes newly acquired hepatitis C cases.

§ Includes Chlamydia trachomatis identified from cervical, rectal, urine, urethral and throat samples, except for South Australia, which reports only cervical, urine and urethral specimens. From 1 July 2013 case definition changed to exclude all ocular infections.

|| The national case definitions for chlamydial, gonococcal and syphilis diagnoses include infections that may be acquired through a non-sexual mode (especially in children – e.g. perinatal infections, epidemic gonococcal conjunctivitis).

¶ Data for all states and territories are reported by diagnosis date, except Queensland, which is reported by notification receive date.

** This number may underrepresent the number of diphtheria cases in Australia. For more details please see the 2014 summary of diphtheria in the Vaccine Preventable Diseases section.

†† Only invasive meningococcal disease is nationally notifiable. However, the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales also report conjunctival cases.

NEC Not elsewhere classified.

NN Not notifiable.

Bloodborne diseases
Hepatitis B (newly acquired)* 2 29 3 53 7 5 53 24 176
Hepatitis B (unspecified) 95 2,514 150 988 323 55 1,741 628 6,494
Hepatitis C (newly acquired)* 11 26 2 NN 45 14 174 161 433
Hepatitis C (unspecified) 164 3,555 178 2,648 449 217 2,048 990 10,249
Hepatitis D 0 19 1 13 9 0 14 3 59
Gastrointestinal diseases
Botulism 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Campylobacteriosis 505 NN 294 6,220 1,804 934 7,211 2,963 19,931
Cryptosporidiosis 30 418 87 668 225 30 637 310 2,405
Haemolytic uraemic syndrome 0 6 1 3 3 1 5 1 20
Hepatitis A 5 83 2 44 7 1 70 19 231
Hepatitis E 1 37 0 7 0 0 11 0 56
Listeriosis 1 23 2 17 6 4 22 5 80
Salmonellosis 225 4,314 457 4,937 1,220 249 3,695 1,261 16,358
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli 0 30 0 28 45 0 10 2 115
Shigellosis 9 198 99 176 36 2 463 68 1,051
Typhoid fever 1 45 1 19 9 1 29 14 119
Quarantinable diseases
Cholera 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2
Highly pathogenic avian influenza in humans 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Plague 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rabies 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Severe acute respiratory syndrome 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Smallpox 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Viral haemorrhagic fever 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Yellow fever 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sexually transmitted infections
Chlamydial infection§|| 1,196 22,909 2,997 20,480 5,496 1,774 19,910 11,346 86,108
Donovanosis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
Gonococcal infection|| 120 4,862 1,741 2,721 736 65 3,236 2,194 15,675
Syphilis – congenital|| 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 5
Syphilis < 2 years duration*||¶ 18 739 73 394 29 14 649 93 2,009
Syphilis > 2 years or unspecified duration†|| 26 536 73 279 123 19 801 64 1,921
Vaccine preventable diseases
Diphtheria** 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
Haemophilus influenzae type b 0 6 1 9 1 0 3 1 21
Influenza (laboratory confirmed) 1,260 20,877 810 17,924 11,041 673 9,907 5,250 67,742
Measles 7 67 52 73 16 5 77 43 340
Mumps 2 79 1 49 19 5 12 23 190
Pertussis 233 3,131 83 1,392 503 68 4,702 1,751 11,863
Pneumococcal disease (invasive) 15 518 43 230 133 39 379 207 1,564
Poliomyelitis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rubella 0 10 0 2 2 0 2 1 17
Rubella – congenital 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tetanus 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 3
Varicella zoster (chickenpox) 63 NN 103 301 330 46 822 423 2,088
Varicella zoster (shingles) 92 NN 245 55 2,031 268 1,416 1,366 5,473
Varicella zoster (unspecified) 183 NN 8 5,544 146 141 4,810 1,265 12,097
Vectorborne diseases
Arbovirus infection (NEC) 0 5 0 22 0 0 1 0 28
Barmah Forest virus infection 1 163 30 473 1 0 18 55 741
Dengue virus infection 16 377 62 393 72 17 329 450 1,716
Japanese encephalitis virus infection 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Kunjin virus infection 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
Malaria 10 88 11 86 6 4 69 48 322
Murray Valley encephalitis virus infection 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ross River virus infection 5 682 412 2,344 75 18 208 1,572 5,316
Zoonoses
Anthrax 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Australia bat lyssavirus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Brucellosis 0 4 1 8 0 0 4 0 17
Leptospirosis 0 14 2 59 1 1 8 3 88
Lyssavirus (NEC) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ornithosis 0 14 0 4 0 0 21 2 41
Q fever 1 179 1 240 10 0 33 5 469
Tularaemia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Other bacterial infections
Legionellosis 2 70 7 94 40 8 87 116 424
Leprosy 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 5 9
Meningococcal infection†† 2 38 3 40 34 2 33 18 170
Tuberculosis 30 472 28 165 48 9 448 139 1,339
Total 4,331 67,139 8,069 69,208 25,083 4,689 64,173 32,891 275,581

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Table 5: Notification rates per 100,000 of nationally notifiable communicable diseases, Australia, 2014, by state or territory
Disease State or territory Aust.
ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas. Vic. WA

* Newly acquired hepatitis and syphilis < 2 years duration includes cases where the infection was determined to be acquired within 24 months prior to diagnosis.

† Unspecified hepatitis and syphilis includes cases where the duration of infection could not be determined or is greater than 24 months.

‡ In Queensland, includes newly acquired hepatitis C cases.

§ Includes Chlamydia trachomatis identified from cervical, rectal, urine, urethral and throat samples, except for South Australia, which reports only cervical, urine and urethral specimens. From 1 July 2013 case definition changed to exclude all ocular infections.

|| The national case definitions for chlamydial, gonococcal and syphilis diagnoses include infections that may be acquired through a non-sexual mode (especially in children – e.g. perinatal infections, epidemic gonococcal conjunctivitis).

¶ Data for all states and territories are reported by diagnosis date, except Queensland, which is reported by notification receive date.

** This number may underrepresent the number of diphtheria cases in Australia. For more details please see the 2014 summary of diphtheria in the Vaccine Preventable Diseases section.

†† Only invasive meningococcal disease is nationally notifiable. However, the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales also report conjunctival cases.

NEC Not elsewhere classified.

Bloodborne diseases
Hepatitis B (newly acquired)* 0.5 0.4 1.2 1.1 0.4 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.7
Hepatitis B (unspecified) 24.6 33.4 61.3 20.9 19.2 10.7 29.8 24.5 27.7
Hepatitis C (newly acquired)* 2.9 0.3 0.8 NN 2.7 2.7 3.0 6.3 2.3
Hepatitis C (unspecified) 42.5 47.3 72.8 56.1 26.6 42.2 35.1 38.6 43.7
Hepatitis D 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.5 0.2 0.1 0.3
Gastrointestinal diseases
Botulism <0.1 <0.1
Campylobacteriosis 131.0 NN 120.2 131.7 107.0 181.5 123.5 115.5 124.9
Cryptosporidiosis 7.8 5.6 35.6 14.1 13.3 5.8 10.9 12.1 10.2
Haemolytic uraemic syndrome 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.1 <0.1 0.1
Hepatitis A 1.3 1.1 0.8 0.9 0.4 0.2 1.2 0.7 1.0
Hepatitis E 0.3 0.5 0.1 0.2 0.2
Listeriosis 0.3 0.3 0.8 0.4 0.4 0.8 0.4 0.2 0.3
Salmonellosis 58.4 57.4 186.8 104.6 72.4 48.4 63.3 49.2 69.7
Shigellosis 2.3 2.6 40.5 3.7 2.1 0.4 7.9 2.7 4.5
Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli 0.4 0.6 2.7 0.2 0.1 0.5
Typhoid fever 0.3 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.2 0.5 0.5 0.5
Quarantinable diseases
Cholera <0.1 <0.1
Highly pathogenic avian influenza in humans
Plague
Rabies
Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Smallpox
Viral haemorrhagic fever
Yellow fever
Sexually transmitted infections
Chlamydial infection§|| 310.3 304.8 1225.2 433.8 326.1 344.7 341.0 442.3 366.8
Donovanosis <0.1 <0.1
Gonococcal infection|| 31.1 64.7 711.7 57.6 43.7 12.6 55.4 85.5 66.8
Syphilis – congenital|| 2.0 <0.1
Syphilis < 2 years duration*||¶ 4.7 9.8 29.8 8.3 1.7 2.7 11.1 3.6 8.6
Syphilis > 2 years or unspecified duration†|| 6.7 7.1 29.8 5.9 7.3 3.7 13.7 2.5 8.2
Vaccine preventable diseases
Diphtheria** <0.1 <0.1
Haemophilus influenzae type b 0.1 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.1 <0.1 0.1
Influenza (laboratory confirmed) 326.9 277.8 331.1 379.6 655.1 130.8 169.7 204.6 288.6
Measles 1.8 0.9 21.3 1.5 0.9 1.0 1.3 1.7 1.4
Mumps 0.5 1.1 0.4 1.0 1.1 1.0 0.2 0.9 0.8
Pertussis 60.4 41.7 33.9 29.5 29.8 13.2 80.5 68.3 50.5
Pneumococcal disease (invasive) 3.9 6.9 17.6 4.9 7.9 7.6 6.5 8.1 6.7
Poliomyelitis
Rubella 0.1 <0.1 0.1 <0.1 <0.1 0.1
Rubella – congenital
Tetanus <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Varicella zoster (chickenpox) 16.3 NN 42.1 6.4 19.6 8.9 14.1 16.5 13.1
Varicella zoster (shingles) 23.9 NN 100.2 1.2 120.5 52.1 24.2 53.2 34.3
Varicella zoster (unspecified) 47.5 NN 3.3 117.4 8.7 27.4 82.4 49.3 75.8
Vectorborne diseases
Arbovirus infection (NEC) 0.1 0.5 <0.1 0.1
Barmah Forest virus infection 0.3 2.2 12.3 10.0 0.1 0.3 2.1 3.2
Dengue virus infection 4.2 5.0 25.3 8.3 4.3 3.3 5.7 17.5 7.3
Japanese encephalitis virus infection 0.1 <0.1
Kunjin virus infection <0.1 <0.1
Malaria 2.6 1.2 4.5 1.8 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.9 1.4
Murray Valley encephalitis virus infection
Ross River virus infection 1.3 9.1 168.4 49.6 4.4 3.5 3.6 61.3 22.6
Zoonoses
Anthrax
Australia bat lyssavirus
Brucellosis 0.1 0.4 0.2 0.1 0.1
Leptospirosis 0.2 0.8 1.2 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.4
Lyssavirus (NEC)
Ornithosis 0.2 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.2
Q fever 0.3 2.4 0.4 5.1 0.6 0.6 0.2 2.0
Tularaemia
Other bacterial infections
Legionellosis 0.5 0.9 2.9 2.0 2.4 1.6 1.5 4.5 1.8
Leprosy <0.1 <0.1 0.1 <0.1 0.2 <0.1
Meningococcal infection†† 0.5 0.5 1.2 0.8 2.0 0.4 0.6 0.7 0.7
Tuberculosis 7.8 6.3 11.4 3.5 2.8 1.7 7.7 5.4 5.7

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Table 6: Notified cases and notification rate for communicable diseases, Australia, 2009 to 2014
Disease Number of notified cases 5 year mean Ratio (2014: 5 year mean) Notification rate per 100,000
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

* Newly acquired hepatitis and syphilis < 2 years duration includes cases where the infection was determined to be acquired within 24 months prior to diagnosis.

† Unspecified hepatitis and syphilis includes cases where the duration of infection could not be determined or is greater than 24 months.

‡ In Queensland, includes newly acquired hepatitis C cases.

§ Includes Chlamydia trachomatis identified from cervical, rectal, urine, urethral and throat samples, except for South Australia, which reports only cervical, urine and urethral specimens. From 1 July 2013 case definition changed to exclude all ocular infections.

|| The national case definitions for chlamydial, gonococcal and syphilis diagnoses include infections that may be acquired through a non-sexual mode (especially in children – e.g. perinatal infections, epidemic gonococcal conjunctivitis).

¶ Data for all states and territories are reported by diagnosis date, except Queensland, which is reported by notification receive date.

** This number may underrepresent the number of diphtheria cases in Australia. For more details please see the 2014 summary of diphtheria in the Vaccine Preventable Diseases section.

†† Only invasive meningococcal disease is nationally notifiable. However, the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales also report conjunctival cases.

NEC Not elsewhere classified.

NN Not notifiable.

Bloodborne diseases
Hepatitis B (newly acquired)* 253 231 192 196 175 176 209.4 0.8 1.2 1.0 0.9 0.9 0.8 0.7
Hepatitis B (unspecified) 6,963 6,796 6,404 6,443 6,940 6,494 6,709.2 1.0 32.1 30.8 28.7 28.3 30.0 27.7
Hepatitis C (newly acquired)* 400 383 411 472 398 433 412.8 1.0 2.3 2.2 2.3 2.6 2.2 2.3
Hepatitis C (unspecified) 11,066 11,062 9,912 9,662 10,339 10,249 10,408.2 1.0 51.0 50.2 44.4 42.5 44.7 43.7
Hepatitis D 51 44 47 36 61 59 47.8 1.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3
Gastrointestinal diseases
Botulism 1 0 2 0 4 1 1.4 0.7 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Campylobacteriosis 16,104 16,993 17,726 15,668 14,692 19,931 16,236.6 1.2 110.0 114.1 117.2 101.6 93.5 124.9
Cryptosporidiosis 4,624 1,482 1,812 3,145 3,846 2,405 2,981.8 0.8 21.3 6.7 8.1 13.8 16.6 10.2
Haemolytic uraemic syndrome 13 9 13 20 15 20 14.0 1.4 0.1 <0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Hepatitis A 563 267 145 166 190 231 266.2 0.9 2.6 1.2 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0
Hepatitis E 33 37 41 32 34 56 35.4 1.6 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2
Listeriosis 92 71 70 93 76 80 80.4 1.0 0.4 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.3
Salmonellosis 9,501 11,912 12,275 11,251 12,785 16,358 11,544.8 1.4 43.8 54.1 54.9 49.5 55.3 69.7
Shigellosis 617 552 493 548 538 1,051 549.6 1.9 2.8 2.5 2.2 2.4 2.3 4.5
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli 128 80 95 111 180 115 118.8 1.0 0.6 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.8 0.5
Typhoid fever 115 96 135 125 152 119 124.6 1.0 0.5 0.4 0.6 0.5 0.7 0.5
Quarantinable diseases
Cholera 4 3 6 5 3 2 4.2 0.5 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Highly pathogenic avian influenza in humans 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Plague 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Rabies 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Severe acute respiratory syndrome 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Smallpox 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Viral haemorrhagic fever 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Yellow fever 0 0 2 0 0 0 0.4 <0.1
Sexually transmissible infections
Chlamydial infection§|| 63,200 74,418 81,099 83,121 82,974 86,108 76,962.4 1.1 291.4 337.8 363.0 365.7 358.9 366.8
Donovanosis 1 1 0 1 0 1 0.6 1.7 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Gonococcal infection|| 8,274 10,320 12,095 13,880 14,902 15,675 11,894.2 1.3 38.1 46.8 54.1 61.1 64.5 66.8
Syphilis – congenital|| 3 3 7 1 7 5 4.2 1.2 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Syphilis < 2 years duration*||¶ 1,293 1,118 1,280 1,556 1,768 2,009 1,403.0 1.4 6.0 5.1 5.7 6.8 7.6 8.6
Syphilis > 2 years or unspecified duration†|| 1,459 1,358 1,352 1,389 1,747 1,921 1,461.0 1.3 7.3 6.7 6.5 6.1 7.6 8.2
Vaccine preventable diseases
Diphtheria** 0 0 4 0 2 2 1.2 1.7 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Haemophilus influenzae type b 19 24 13 16 20 21 18.4 1.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Influenza (laboratory confirmed) 59,026 13,466 27,233 44,571 28,311 67,742 34,521.4 2.0 272.1 61.1 121.9 196.1 122.5 288.6
Measles 104 70 194 199 162 340 145.8 2.3 0.5 0.3 0.9 0.9 0.7 1.4
Mumps 166 98 155 200 218 190 167.4 1.1 0.8 0.4 0.7 0.9 0.9 0.8
Pertussis 30,192 34,845 38,750 24,101 12,362 11,863 28,050.0 0.4 139.2 158.2 173.5 106.0 53.5 50.5
Pneumococcal disease (invasive) 1,556 1,640 1,883 1,822 1,549 1,564 1,690.0 0.9 7.2 7.4 8.4 8.0 6.7 6.7
Poliomyelitis 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Rubella 27 44 58 37 25 17 38.2 0.4 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1
Rubella – congenital 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.6 <0.1 <0.1
Tetanus 3 2 3 7 4 3 3.8 0.8 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Varicella zoster (chickenpox) 1,796 1,793 2,100 1,983 2,127 2,088 1,959.8 1.1 12.3 12.0 13.9 12.9 13.5 13.1
Varicella zoster (shingles) 2,779 3,045 4,022 4,506 5,038 5,473 3,878.0 1.4 19.0 20.5 26.6 29.2 32.1 34.3
Varicella zoster (unspecified) 7,425 8,155 8,608 9,421 10,983 12,097 8,918.4 1.4 50.7 54.8 56.9 61.1 69.9 75.8
Vectorborne diseases
Arbovirus infection (NEC) 5 14 16 6 19 28 12.0 2.3 <0.1 0.1 0.1 <0.1 0.1 0.1
Barmah Forest virus infection 1,473 1,470 1,863 1,730 4,239 741 2,155.0 0.3 6.8 6.7 8.3 7.6 18.3 3.2
Dengue virus infection 1,402 1,228 821 1,541 1,840 1,716 1,366.6 1.3 6.5 5.6 3.7 6.8 8.0 7.3
Japanese encephalitis virus infection 0 0 0 1 4 1 1.0 1.0 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Kunjin virus infection 2 2 2 0 2 1 1.6 0.6 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Malaria 504 405 418 344 416 322 418.2 0.8 2.3 1.8 1.9 1.5 1.8 1.4
Murray Valley encephalitis virus infection 4 0 16 1 1 0 4.4 <0.1 <0.1 0.1 <0.1 <0.1
Ross River virus infection 4,741 5,129 5,137 4,682 4,316 5,316 4,801.0 1.1 21.9 23.3 23.0 20.6 18.7 22.6
Zoonoses
Anthrax 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.2 <0.1
Australian bat lyssavirus 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.2 <0.1
Brucellosis 32 21 37 31 14 17 27.0 0.6 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1
Leptospirosis 141 131 215 114 88 88 137.8 0.6 0.7 0.6 1.0 0.5 0.4 0.4
Lyssavirus (NEC) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Ornithosis 63 58 89 76 47 41 66.6 0.6 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.2
Q fever 314 338 359 369 487 469 373.4 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.6 2.1 2.0
Tularaemia 0 0 2 0 0 0 0.4 <0.1
Other bacterial infections
Legionellosis 297 307 358 383 508 424 370.6 1.1 1.4 1.4 1.6 1.7 2.2 1.8
Leprosy 5 10 10 8 14 9 9.4 1.0 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 <0.1 0.1 <0.1
Meningococcal infection†† 260 228 242 223 149 170 220.4 0.8 1.2 1.0 1.1 1.0 0.6 0.7
Tuberculosis 1,307 1,364 1,389 1,316 1,263 1,339 1,327.8 1.0 6.0 6.2 6.2 5.8 5.5 5.7
Total 238,401 211,124 239,611 245,610 226,037 275,581

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Data completeness

Indigenous status

Indigenous status is usually obtained from clinical notifications and completeness varies by disease and by state and territory. This reflects differences in notification requirements (i.e. depending on the jurisdiction, some diseases are primarily or completely notified by pathology laboratories rather than clinicians) and the fact that it is not possible to follow up all cases for diseases with a large volume of notifications and/or not requiring specific case-based public health action.

Indigenous status was complete in 45% of all notifications reported to NNDSS in 2014. Indigenous status was complete in 95% of data reported in the Northern Territory, 93% in Western Australia and 91% in South Australia. In the remaining jurisdictions, Indigenous status completeness ranged from 14% to 47% (Table 7).

Table 7: Indigenous status completeness of National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System data, Australia, 2014, by state or territory
State or territory
ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas. Vic. WA Aust.
Total notifications 4,331 67,139 8,069 69,207 25,083 4,689 64,172 32,891 275,581
Indigenous status
Unknown/ missing 2,284 57,507 437 39,027 2,191 3,066 43,940 2,232 150,684
Per cent complete 47 14 95 44 91 35 32 93 45

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Data completeness on Indigenous status also varied by disease as summarised in Appendix 3. In 2009, CDNA set target thresholds of 95% completeness for 18 priority diseases (17 notifiable to NNDSS and HIV, which are provided to the Kirby Institute) (Table 8) and 80% completeness for the remainder of the notifiable diseases as part of its ‘Closing the Gap’ strategy. Of all diseases notified to the NNDSS in 2014, 31 (62%) equalled or exceeded 80% completeness for Indigenous status and 15 (48%) were priority diseases.

Table 8: Percentage completeness of priority diseases for Indigenous status completeness of National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System data, Australia, 2014, by state or territory
Priority disease ACT NSW NT Qld SA Tas. Vic. WA Aust.
NN Not notifiable.
Congenital syphilis No cases No cases 100 No cases No cases No cases No cases No cases 100
Dengue virus (locally acquired) No cases 100 No cases 69 100 No cases 67 100 69
Donovanosis No cases No cases No cases No cases No cases No cases No cases 100 100
Gonococcal infection 100 45 99 59 99 94 55 100 66
Haemophilus influenzae type b No cases 100 100 100 100 No cases 100 100 100
Hepatitis A 100 100 100 80 100 100 100 100 96
Hepatitis B (newly acquired) 100 100 100 74 100 100 98 100 92
Hepatitis C (newly acquired) 100 100 100 NN 100 100 95 99 98
Leprosy No cases 100 No cases 100 100 No cases 100 100 100
Measles 100 88 98 97 100 100 97 100 96
Meningococcal disease (invasive) 100 100 100 100 100 100 94 100 99
Pertussis <5 years 100 91 100 65 100 100 81 97 85
Pneumococcal disease <5 years 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Pneumococcal disease ≥50 years 100 99 100 98 100 100 91 100 97
Shigellosis 100 83 98 61 100 100 80 100 81
Syphilis < 2 years 100 90 100 95 100 100 89 100 92
Tuberculosis 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

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In 2014, 11 of the 17 priority diseases notified to NNDSS had an Indigenous completeness that exceeded 95% (congenital syphilis, donovanosis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis A, hepatitis C (newly acquired), measles, meningococcal infection, pneumococcal disease less than 5 years, pneumococcal disease ≥ 50 years, leprosy, and tuberculosis). This was an improvement on 2013 where 7 priority diseases exceeded 95% completeness. There has been a notable improvement in completeness of Indigenous status for hepatitis C (newly acquired) notifications from 88% in 2012 to 98% in 2014.

A review of the NNDSS priority diseases between 2004 and 2014 showed that meningococcal disease (invasive) and tuberculosis exceeded the 95% threshold for completeness of Indigenous status over the entire period. They ranged from 95%–97% and 98%–100% respectively.

Six of the priority diseases were consistently below the 95% threshold over the entire period (Figure 3):

  • dengue virus infection (locally acquired)
  • gonococcal infection
  • hepatitis B (newly acquired)
  • hepatitis C (newly acquired)
  • pertussis less than 5 years
  • shigellosis.

Figure 3: Priority diseases consistently below the 95% threshold for Indigenous completeness, 2004 to 2014

line  chart. text description follows

Text version of Figure 3 (TXT 1 KB)

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The completeness of the Indigenous status for 8 of the priority diseases has improved since 2004:

  • congenital syphilis, increasing from 93% in 2004 to 100% in 2014;
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b, increasing from 93% in 2004 to 100% in 2014
  • hepatitis A, increasing from 90% in 2004 to 96% in 2014;
  • hepatitis B (newly acquired), increasing from 81% in 2004 to 92% in 2014;
  • hepatitis C (newly acquired), increasing from 85% in 2004 to 98% in 2014;
  • pneumococcal disease less than 5 years, increasing from 89% in 2004 to 100% in 2014;
  • pneumococcal disease 50 years or over, increasing from 90% in 2004 to 97% in 2014; and
  • shigellosis, increasing from 72% in 2004 to 81% in 2014.

The completeness of Indigenous status for 2 diseases has not improved since 2004. Dengue virus infection (locally acquired), decreased from 86% in 2004 to 69% in 2014, and gonococcal infection, decreased from 69% in 2004 to 66% in 2014.

The completeness of Indigenous status for syphilis < 2 years was 92% in 2014 but has regularly exceeded the 95% threshold over the period.

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Place of acquisition

The place of acquisition is where the disease is known to have been acquired, either locally or overseas and is usually obtained through public health follow-up. Follow-up and thus completeness varies by disease and by jurisdiction. It is not possible to follow-up all cases for diseases with a large volume of notifications. Place of acquisition is not usually completed for diseases unless overseas travel is known to be a risk factor.

Through the NSC, jurisdictions have agreed that completeness for place of acquisition should be 100% for the following 24 priority diseases:

  • arbovirus infection (NEC)
  • brucellosis
  • cholera
  • dengue virus infection
  • hepatitis A
  • highly pathogenic avian influenza in humans
  • Japanese encephalitis virus infection
  • Kunjin virus infection
  • legionellosis
  • leprosy
  • malaria
  • measles
  • Murray Valley encephalitis virus infection
  • plague
  • poliomyelitis
  • Q fever
  • rabies
  • rubella
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome
  • smallpox
  • tularaemia
  • typhoid fever
  • viral haemorrhagic fever (NEC)
  • yellow fever.

In 2014, 14 of the 24 priority diseases had cases notified to NNDSS, the overall completeness for place of acquisition for these diseases was 96%. The completeness was 100% in 2014 for cholera, brucellosis, leprosy, Kunjin virus infection and Japanese encephalitis virus infection (Table 9).

Table 9: Percentage completeness of priority diseases* for place of acquisition completeness of National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System data, Australia, 2014, by state or territory
Disease 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
* Only includes priority diseases notified to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System in 2010 to 2014 are included.
Cholera 100 100 100 100 100
Legionellosis 97 83 85 80 86
Murray Valley encephalitis virus infection No cases 88 100 100 No cases
Tularaemia No cases 100 No cases No cases No cases
Malaria 94 97 97 96 98
Dengue virus infection >99 98 98 99 99
Yellow fever No cases 100 No cases No cases No cases
Brucellosis 81 24 36 100 100
Hepatitis A >99 100 94 95 99
Typhoid fever 100 98 94 98 97
Rubella 89 74 62 80 53
Leprosy 80 90 75 79 100
Measles 100 89 95 98 >99
Kunjin virus infection 50 100 No cases 100 100
Japanese encephalitis virus infection No cases No cases 100 100 100
Flavivirus unspecified 93 75 100 100 96
Q fever 81 57 78 89 89
Total 96 88 92 95 96

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