Australia's notifiable diseases status, 2004: Annual report of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System - Quarantinable diseases

The Australia’s notifiable diseases status, 2004 report provides data and an analysis of communicable disease incidence in Australia during 2004. The full report is available in 20 HTML documents. This document contains the section on Quarantinable diseases. The full report is also available in PDF format from the Table of contents page.

Page last updated: 30 March 2006

This article {extract} was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Vol 30 No 1 March 2006 and may be downloaded as a full version PDF from the Table of contents page.

Results, continued

Quarantinable diseases

Human diseases covered by the Quarantine Act 1908, and notifiable in 2004 were cholera, plague, rabies, yellow fever, smallpox, highly pathogenic avian influenza in humans (HPAIH), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and four viral haemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa and Crimean-Congo).

HPAIH was declared a quarantinable disease on 23 March 2004 and consequently became subject to the routine quarantine powers available under the Quarantine Act 1908. SARS was declared a quarantinable disease under the Quarantine Act 1908 on 7 April 2003.


Case definition – Cholera

Only confirmed cases are reported.

Confirmed case: Requires isolation of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 or O139.

In 2004, there were five cases of cholera notified in Australia, two from Victoria, and one each from New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. Four of these cases acquired their disease overseas: one in Indonesia, one in the Philippines, and two in India. The place of acquisition of the fifth case was unknown.

All five notifications were Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1. There were two El Tor biotype notifications and two Ogawa serotypes reported. Table 11 summarises the serogroups, biotypes, serotypes and toxin producing status of these notifications.

Table 11. Cholera notifications 2004, Australia, by notifying jurisdiction and case details

Notifying jurisdiction
Age at onset
Vibrio cholerae serogroup/biotype/serotype
Toxin production
Country of acquisition
NSW Male
Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor Unknown Philippines
Qld Female
Vibrio cholerae O1 Unknown Unknown
Vic Female
Vibrio cholerae O1 Ogawa Not reported India
Vic Female
Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor Ogawa Not reported India
WA Male
Vibrio cholerae O1 Unknown Indonesia

In 2004, there were several suspected cases of SARS reported by jurisdictions. Enhanced surveillance by general practitioners and hospitals in Australia resulted in the testing of five people with fever, respiratory symptoms and history of travel to China. All tests for SARS were negative.

Cholera, plague, rabies, yellow fever, SARS, HPAIH and viral haemorrhagic fevers are of international public health importance and are notified to the World Health Organization. Although no local transmission had been reported in Australia, these diseases continue to occur around the world. Travellers are advised to seek information on the risk of contracting these diseases in their destinations and take appropriate measures. More information on quarantinable diseases and travel health can be found on the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing Website at:

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