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Health Protection

This involves surveillance and monitoring of infectious diseases, responding to case investigations and outbreaks, strategic health protection work and outbreak planning as well as education and training for healthcare professionals and communities.

As of December 2023, WPHU has accountability for the control of all notifiable conditions except tuberculosis, anaphylaxis and high-lead levels. This includes all vaccine-preventable diseases, blood-borne viruses, sexually-transmissible infections, zoonoses, vector-borne diseases and enteric disease, as well as antimicrobially resistant pathogens. 

Medical practitioners and pathology departments are still required to notify conditions to the Victorian Department of Health in accordance with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. WPHU is empowered to receive notifications of notifiable conditions from medical practitioners and laboratories, undertake case management, contact tracing and outbreak management. Notifications are allocated immediately to the relevant local public health unit or the Department of Health as appropriate. Alternatively, notifiers can call WPHU directly on 1800 497 111 to notify, especially in cases of urgent notifications or where a direct conversation is desired. The WPHU team is available and keen to provide advice and assistance to local medical practitioners about any aspect of the public health management of communicable diseases within our scope. 

WPHU’s catchment includes two important international ports of entry – Port of Melbourne and Melbourne Airport. We work with the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, other government and non-government stakeholders, as well as the Department of Health and other local public health units to prevent the entry and spread of infectious diseases to Australian communities. 

WPHU'S work in health protection

Communicable disease control

The Western Public Health Unit has accountability for the public health management of all notifiable conditions except tuberculosis, anaphylaxis and high lead levels.

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A-Z of public health topics

An A to Z listing of public health topics relevant to the work of the Western Public Health Unit. Find the health information you need, from Buruli ulcer to Influenza.

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