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Infectious diseases

There are a variety of infectious diseases and many can be highly contagious. Whilst some of these conditions are uncomfortable but short-lived, others can be chronic and require lifelong management. Find out about conditions such as shingles, chlamydia, measles, conjunctivitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis and whooping cough and more here.

Bronchitis causes the bronchi to become irritated and inflamed, producing more mucus than usual.


Bronchitis is inflammation of the larger airways in your lungs, causing an ongoing cough. Read more about symptoms and how to reduce the risk of bron

Cool baths, loose comfortable clothes and calamine lotion can all ease the itchiness from chickenpox.


Chickenpox is a mild and common childhood illness, but can also occur in adults. Here’s how to help ease symptoms and discomfort.

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections.


Chlamydia is one of the most common STIs in Australia. Find out how you can help avoid it and when to get tested.

Girl with a flu.

Colds and flu (influenza)

Colds and flu are different illnesses caused by different viruses. Learn about difference between colds and flu and read our advice on how to best pre

Cough is a common symptom for colds and the flu.


Most coughs are caused by viruses which inflame the throat, windpipe or lungs. Here are some tips to relieve the symptoms.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the lining of the eye and eyelid.


Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the lining of the eye and eyelid. Learn about common symptoms, causes and treatments.

Diarrhoea loose, watery stools occurring more than three times in one day.


Diarrhoea can last only a few days or be a sign of something else. Find out about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments.

Protection is required when examining people infected with the Ebola virus

Ebola - Who is at risk?

Ebola is a rare and often fatal illness. Learn about the Ebola virus, who’s at risk, symptoms and treatment options.

Genital herpes can be spread through kissing.

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact – even through kissing or foreplay. There are things you can do to control it, so read on.

Condoms with a water-based lubricant help prevent gonorrhoea.


Also known as ‘the clap’, gonorrhoea often has no symptoms. Learn how to spot symptoms, maintain and how gonorrhoea is treated.

Vaccination is safe and effective in protecting against hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B infection

Hepatitis B can lead to liver damage over time. If it turns out you have hepatitis B, it is important to protect others from infection. Find out how.

Blood test for HIV

HIV infection and AIDS

Today, people with HIV are unlikely to develop AIDS if they get effective treatment. Here’s what to do if you think you might have been exposed.

Impetigo - baby with rash on his arm

About impetigo

Impetigo is a highly contagious skin infection which causes sores and blisters. It's very common and affects mainly children.

Lyssavirus is carried by bats in Australia.

Lyssavirus (ABLV)

Find out about Australian bat Lyssavirus, and learn how it can be prevented if you are bitten or scratched by a bat.

Child and paediatrician with a phial of MMR vaccine - measles


Anyone can get measles if they haven't been vaccinated or had it before, but it's most common in children. Learn more about this illness.

Mumps is most common in children.


Mumps is an uncommon but contagious viral infection. This article explains what to look out for.

Shingles is a painful rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus.


Find out how to recognise the symptoms shingles and what treatments are available.


Sinusitis is when the hollow spaces in the bones of your face become inflamed. Sinusitis is a common symptom for colds and the flu and it can be diffi

Girl with sore throat

Sore throat (pharyngitis)

A sore throat is normally a symptom of a bacterial or viral infection and is common with a cold or flu.Learn more about the self-care of sore throats.

Thorough hand washing can help preventing the spread of staph infections.

Staph infections

Trusted information on a staph infection including what it is, who is at risk, how you get it, treatment, prevention, plus links to trusted resources.

Practising safe sex is the best way to prevent syphilis infection.


Syphilis is relatively rare in Australia. It can cause serious health problems if left untreated. However, syphilis is easy to cure if found early.

People with tonsillitis should drink plenty of fluids while resting.


Tonsillitis is an infection and swelling of the tonsils at the back of the throat. Learn about its symptoms and treatments.

Whooping cough is serious in babies under 12 months old.

Whooping cough

Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection and most serious in babies. Here’s how to spot symptoms and protect infants.

Treatment of tuberculosis requires a combination of medicines.


Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It affects the lungs but can affect other parts of the body.

Vomiting is the body's way of ridding itself of harmful substances.


Vomiting in adults is usually not a sign of anything serious and tends to only last one or two days. Learn the causes and when to seek medical advice.

Little boy learning to potty train.

Worms in humans

Tell-tale signs of threadworm infection include an itchy bottom, disturbed sleep, irritability, tiredness and lack of interest in eating.

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Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Vaccination against a range of bacterial and viral diseases is an integral part of communicable disease control world-wide. Vaccination against a specific disease not only reduces the incidence of that disease, it reduces the social and economic burden of the disease on communities. Very high immunisation coverage can lead to complete blocking of transmission for many vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). The world-wide eradication of smallpox and the near eradication of polio from many countries provide excellent examples of the role of immunisation in disease control.

Read more on Department of Health website

Other infectious conditions

These web pages provide information and resources about the burden of a range of infectious diseases experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Read more on Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website

Overview of the Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN)

The Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN) is a collaborative group of laboratories, which have expertise and provide services in public health microbiology in Australia and New Zealand.

Read more on Department of Health website

Communicable diseases information

This page contains information on some of the activities of the Office of Health Protection, in managing communicable diseases in Australia

Read more on Department of Health website

Communicable diseases | ACT Health

Read more on ACT Health website

About Communicable Diseases Network Australia

Information page about the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA). It details the CDNA's background; its various committees and activities; the composition of the CDNA; and recent publications and contact details.

Read more on Department of Health website

Communicable disease control | ACT Health

Read more on ACT Health website

Department of Health | Zika Virus

You are here:Home /For Consumers /Conditions and Diseases /Communicable Diseases Information /Zika Virus /

Read more on NSW Health website

Infectious Disease

Read more on NSW Health website

Infectious Diseases of Childhood

Children are at increased risk of some infectious diseases because they have not yet developed immunity to them, they tend to gather in groups, and they may have difficulty with some aspects of hygiene.

Read more on NSW Health website

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