Managing communicable diseases caught overseas

Some diseases aren't common in Australia but can be caught while travelling. Learn more about these diseases and their diagnosis.

Be a smart traveller

Some diseases are not likely to be caught in Australia but may still need to be reported by state or federal governments. Learn more about nationally notifiable diseases.

Smartraveller is an Australian Government website that provides information for travellers. It covers infectious diseases you could be exposed to when you travel.

The site has information about how to reduce your risk of contracting diseases through vaccination and other means.

The Australian Government screens for some communicable diseases before people obtain a visa to enter Australia. You may need to have a test for some diseases or show proof of vaccination. Learn more about health requirements on entering the country.

Diseases not present in Australia

Some diseases are not present in Australia, but you may want to be aware them of as a traveller.

Marburg virus

Marburg virus is a type of viral haemorrhagic fever. This means it affects many organs, damages the cardiovascular system and often involves bleeding. There is a high likelihood of dying from this disease if you get it. Symptoms include high temperature, severe headache and tiredness. Pain, cramping, nausea and vomiting can follow. Many patients have bleeding from multiple areas.


Ebola is a rare disease caused by the Ebola virus. It often leads to death in people who contract it. It is spread by direct contact with blood or other bodily fluids from an infected person or animal. Symptoms are usually high fever, severe headache, muscle pains and weakness. Then may follow vomiting, diarrhoea, sore throat and liver and kidney problems. Severe bleeding and organ failure may follow this.

Some of these diseases are considered to be security sensitive biological agents. Learn about the Security Sensitive Biological Agents Regulatory Scheme.

Learn about emergency health management and our response to outbreaks and pandemics.

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