Communicable Diseases Report
Communicable Disease Report 16 July to 22 July 2012
In summary, we report:
- Measles – five new cases in Sydney.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b disease - one new case reported.
- Influenza - activity decreased but remains at the upper range for the season.
- Summary of notifiable conditions activity in NSW.
For information on other communicable diseases in NSW, see the A-Z of Infectious diseases and see the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System fortnightly report for Australian data.
Note: click on the heading of each section to see a fact sheet.
There were five new cases of measles indentified this week, three from the South Western Sydney Local Health District and two from the Western Sydney Local Health District. One of the cases was in an infant under 12 months of age. Follow up of susceptible close contacts of these cases is being conducted by local Public Health Units to provide information and preventive interventions.
NSW Health encourages anyone who has not previously been vaccinated for measles to do so. Children should receive two doses of vaccine, one at 12 months and a booster at 4 years. Anyone born during or after 1966 should have two doses of a measles-containing vaccine, at least 4 weeks apart.
Click on the link for updated measles data.
There was one new case of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease indentified this week from regional NSW. The case was in a five year old unvaccinated child with epiglottitis who responded well to treatment. Follow-up of susceptible close contacts of this case was undertaken by the local Public Health Units.
Hib disease is caused by infection with Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria. Infection can lead to serious illness including meningitis and epiglottitis. With the introduction of Hib vaccine these conditions are now rare. Four doses of Hib vaccine are recommended in NSW for all infants at two, four, six and twelve months of age.
Click on the link for updated Haemophilus influenzae type b data.
Influenza-like illness presentations to NSW Emergency Departments decreased to the upper range of several recent winter seasons, and well below the previous winter seasonal peak in 2007. (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Total weekly counts of Emergency Department visits for influenza-like illness, from January – July 2012 (black line), compared with each of the five previous years (coloured lines) excluding 2009, for 59 NSW hospitals.
Overall, respiratory illness presentations to NSW Emergency Departments decreased since the previous week and were below previous peaks in 2007 and 2009 (Figure 2). In the over 65 year age group, levels decreased but remained above peak levels seen in recent years.
Figure 2. Total weekly counts of Emergency Department visits for any respiratory illness, from January – July 2012 (black line), compared with each of the 5 previous years (coloured lines), for 59 NSW hospitals.
Laboratory notifications of confirmed influenza cases decreased, with 516 notifications received this week (Table 1), compared to 759 in the previous week. There were also five respiratory outbreaks in aged care facilities reported this week which were associated with influenza A.
Annual seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for any person aged 6 months and over who wishes to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza. Under the National Influenza Vaccination Program, free seasonal influenza vaccine is available for people at higher risk of influenza complications.
The following table summarises notifiable conditions activity over the reporting period (Table 1). Explanatory notes are included below the table.
Table 1. NSW Notifiable Conditions activity for the period 16 July to 22 July 2012 (by date reported).
Notes on Table 1: NSW Notifiable Conditions activity
- Data cells represent the number of case reports received by NSW Public Health Units and recorded on the NSW Notifiable Conditions Information Management System (NCIMS) in the relevant period.
- Data cells in the ‘Adverse Event Following Immunisation’ category refer to suspected cases only. These reports are referred to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for assessment.
- Only conditions for which at least one case report was received appear in the table. HIV and other blood-borne virus case reports are not included here but are available from the Infectious Diseases Data webpage.