Western Public Health Unit’s management of notifiable conditions
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)
|Acute rheumatic fever||Routine|
|Arbovirus infections other arbovirus infections||Routine|
|Barmah Forest virus infection||Routine|
|Chikungunya virus infection||Routine|
|Chlamydia trachomatis infection||Routine|
|Dengue virus infection||Routine|
|Donovanosis (Klebsiella granulomatis) infection||Routine|
|Haemophilus influenza, type b infection (meningitis, epiglottitis, other invasive infections)||Urgent|
|Hepatitis B (newly acquired or unspecified)||Routine|
|Hepatitis C (newly acquired or unspecified)||Routine|
|Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection||Routine|
|Invasive Group A Streptococcal Disease (iGAS)||Routine|
|Kunjin virus infection||Routine|
|Lyssavirus – Australian Bat lyssavirus||Routine|
|Lyssavirus – other (specify)||Routine|
|Meningococcal infection (invasive)||Urgent|
|Murray Valley encephalitis virus infection||Urgent|
|Mycobacterium ulcerans (Buruli ulcer)||Routine|
|Pneumococcal infection (invasive)||Routine|
|Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV)||Routine|
|Rheumatic heart disease||Routine|
|Ross River virus infection||Routine|
|Shiga- and vero-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC/VTEC)||Routine|
|Varicella zoster infection||Routine|
|Varicella zoster infection (chickenpox)||Routine|
|Varicella zoster infection (shingles)||Routine|
|West Nile/Kunjin virus infection||Routine|
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.