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Communicable Diseases Surveillance consists of data from various sources. The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) is conducted under the auspices of the Communicable Diseases Network Australia New Zealand. The Virology and Serology Laboratory Reporting Scheme (LabVISE) is a sentinel surveillance scheme. The Australian Sentinel Practice Research Network (ASPREN) is a general practitioner-based sentinel surveillance scheme. In this report, data from the NNDSS are referred to as 'notifications' or 'cases', whereas those from ASPREN are referred to as 'consultations' or 'encounters' while data from the LabVISE scheme are referred to as 'laboratory reports'.
Vaccine preventable diseasesNotifications of all vaccine preventable diseases are lower in this period than for the same period last year. In particular pertussis notifications are lower than those seen in the epidemic of late 1997 and early 1998. A rise in pertussis notifications is seen regularly in spring and, after a small rise in that period of 1998, notifications have fallen to levels which are the lowest since 1992 for this time of the year.
ArbovirusesNotifications for Dengue continue to be high with most notifications coming from Queensland. The male to female ratio is 2.25:1.
Ross River virus notifications are high as can be expected in the warmer months of the year, although this period's notifications are considerably higher than for the same period last year. The highest numbers of notifications are in NSW and Qld, the male to female ratio is 1:1.1 and most cases (77%) are in persons in the 20 to 59 year age groups.
RotavirusThe number of reports of rotavirus continued to decline after peaking in August 1998 (Figure 1); this is characteristic of the annual trend. There were 106 reports received this period. New South Wales received the highest number of laboratory reports (52) followed by South Australia (47). The male to female ratio was 1:1.3, with 86 per cent of reports for children in the 1-4 year age group.
Figure 1. Rotavirus laboratory reports, 1995 to 1998, by month of specimen collection
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 23, No 1, 21 January 1999.