Nationally notifiable diseases

Health authorities report some communicable diseases to us or other entities so they can be monitored nationally. Discover how we determine which diseases to monitor and how we identify and track cases.

Diseases that are nationally notifiable

We track some diseases of particular concern nationally. The National Health Security (National Notifiable Disease List) Instrument (NNDL) contains the legislated list of nationally notifiable diseases. The National Health Security Act 2007 underpins the NNDL and our disease surveillance and reporting activities. 

For more about these diseases, see our list of nationally notifiable diseases.

Adding or removing diseases from the list

To add a disease to the list the Australian Government must change the legislation. A new disease can be included if federal and state authorities consider an outbreak would be a public health risk. In an emergency, the federal health minister can add diseases to the list without consulting with the states and territories.

For details of the process, see Protocol for making a change to the National Notifiable Diseases List (NNDL) in Australia.

Why we monitor some diseases nationally

We monitor these diseases to:

  • better understand and respond to national trends
  • support the development of public health policy to reduce disease
  • improve responses to outbreaks of national significance.

How we classify and define nationally notifiable diseases

Australia’s nationally notifiable diseases are classified by disease type. There are 9 classifications, which are:

  • bloodborne diseases
  • gastrointestinal diseases
  • listed human diseases
  • sexually transmissible infections
  • vaccine preventable diseases
  • vectorborne diseases
  • zoonoses (infectious disease that has spread from animals to humans)
  • other notifiable diseases
  • diseases under national surveillance by other bodies (that is, not the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care).

We use case definitions to define each disease. See Diagnosing nationally notifiable diseases for more about case definitions.

State and territory lists

The states and territories also have their own notifiable communicable disease lists. Many diseases are on all lists, but some are only notifiable in 1 or 2 jurisdictions.

Check the list for your state or territory:

Date last updated:

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