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The Western Public Health Unit (WPHU) now has accountability for the public health management of a large number of notifiable conditions, which have recently transitioned from the Victorian Department of Health. In line with all other Victorian local public health units, WPHU is empowered to receive notifications of notifiable conditions from medical practitioners and laboratories, undertake case management, contact tracing and outbreak management. WPHU will also lead local prevention actions in relation to notifiable conditions now managed by local public health units. 

Medical practitioners and pathology departments are required to notify conditions to the Victorian Department of Health in accordance with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008. 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.

Other examples of how WPHU can support local partners:

  • Working with aged care facilities in the WPHU catchment to assist and empower effective outbreak management.
  • Advising and working alongside schools in the WPHU catchment to manage cases and outbreaks of respiratory infections and providing advice on prevention.

See below for conditions currently under WPHU management: (last updated 30 August 2023)

Notifiable conditionUrgency
Acute rheumatic feverRoutine
Arbovirus infections other arbovirus infectionsRoutine
Barmah Forest virus infectionRoutine
Chikungunya virus infectionRoutine
Chlamydia trachomatis infectionRoutine
Dengue virus infectionRoutine
Donovanosis (Klebsiella granulomatis) infectionRoutine
Gonococcal infectionRoutine
Haemophilus influenza, type b infection (meningitis, epiglottitis, other invasive infections)Urgent
Hepatitis AUrgent
Hepatitis B (newly acquired or unspecified)Routine
Hepatitis C (newly acquired or unspecified)Routine
Hepatitis DRoutine
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infectionRoutine
Invasive Group A Streptococcal Disease (iGAS)Routine
Japanese encephalitisUrgent
Kunjin virus infectionRoutine
Lyssavirus – Australian Bat lyssavirusRoutine
Lyssavirus – other (specify)Routine
Meningococcal infection (invasive)Urgent
Mpox (Monkeypox)Urgent
Murray Valley encephalitis virus infectionUrgent
Mycobacterium ulcerans (Buruli ulcer)Routine
Pneumococcal infection (invasive)Routine
Psittacosis (ornithosis)Routine
Q FeverRoutine
Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV)Routine
Rheumatic heart diseaseRoutine
Ross River virus infectionRoutine
Rotavirus infectionRoutine
Rubella congenitalRoutine
Shiga- and vero-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC/VTEC)Routine
Varicella zoster infectionRoutine
Varicella zoster infection (chickenpox)Routine
Varicella zoster infection (shingles)Routine
West Nile/Kunjin virus infectionRoutine
Yellow feverUrgent

More notifiable conditions are being transitioned to provide accountability for operational public health responses at local public health units in the coming months.

By December 2023, WPHU will have accountability for the public health management of all notifiable conditions except tuberculosis, anaphylaxis and high lead levels. This will include all vaccine-preventable diseases, blood-borne viruses, sexually-transmissible infections, zoonoses, vector-borne diseases and enteric diseases, as well as antimicrobial resistant pathogens.