Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, the department is authorised by law to collect information from doctors and laboratories about diagnoses of certain health-related conditions in Victoria. The law exists to monitor and control the occurrence of infectious diseases and other specified conditions, and helps to prevent further illness.
The aim is to protect the health and safety of the community.
Notifications of conditions from medical practitioners and laboratories are the fundamental component of the surveillance.
For some conditions, investigation is initiated on the basis of clinical suspicion in the absence of laboratory confirmation. The investigations may include contacting cases to obtain more detailed information. The department will take all reasonable steps to contact the notifying doctor prior to contacting the patient to ascertain whether there is any reason that the patient should not be contacted. Alternatively, notifying doctors may provide consent for the department to directly contact patients by providing the case's contact telephone number(s). At the time of notification, doctors are advised to ensure the case (1) has been informed of their diagnosis, (2) has been advised that this information is being provided to the department (as required by the Health Records Act 2001), and (3) has been informed that the department may contact them for further information about their illness.
Case definitions are used for each disease. Summaries of the case definitions can be found at the Australian Department of Health's Australian national notifiable diseases and case definitions section.
Data on this website is based on 'notification date' (AKA event date) - that is, the date on which notification of the case was first made to the department.
Daily updates of preliminary data are available for notifiable conditions in the reports listed under 'daily summaries' and 'interactive summaries', but the data should be considered with caution because they may change.
Each report contains data related to notifications processed by the department up to the close of business on the dates specified. Although the reports are updated daily, there may be a lag between receipt and recording of notification for some conditions, particularly those with large numbers of notifications, such as hepatitis C and Campylobacter infection. Chlamydia notification data is available quarterly six weeks after the end of each quarter.
Notifications are counted in the Victorian dataset if the postcode of residence of the case is in Victoria. Postcode of residence of the case does not, however, necessarily reflect where the infection was acquired. Therefore, regional summaries should be interpreted with caution. Notifications received by the department for cases residing in other jurisdictions will be forwarded to that jurisdiction and counted as a case there. Notifications received by the department for cases residing in other countries are counted in the Victorian data set.
The department has eight health regions within Victoria: three metropolitan and five regional areas. Each region is a composition of local government areas. Notifications are geocoded to local government areas by street address and/or postcode and then allocated to a department region.
Changes occur in the number of notifications reported in previous reports for some diseases. This is due to the ongoing maintenance and update of notification datasets as new information becomes available, or where errors are detected through data cleaning processes.
Maps for reporting areas are provided in the health regions and local government areas section.
Infectious diseases – release of additional data
This website contains data that are updated daily and aggregated by disease for many boundary types in Victoria. However, the department recognises that not all needs for data are met by reports.
The Release of data on notifiable conditions in Victoria – policy and application form is available for external enquiries for additional data. Applicants must ensure they have familiarised themselves with the policy and may submit data requests using the included form.
Please note that the timeframe to provide data via data requests is approximately 8 weeks.
Copyright and privacy
These publications are protected by copyright and remain the property of the department.
No part of these publications may be reproduced, distributed, transmitted or stored, electronically or mechanically, for any purpose, on any media, in any form or by any means whatsoever, without previous explicit written authority of the copyright holders.
The department assumes no responsibility or liability for damages arising from the inability to use these publications, or for any omissions from and errors in these publications.
All reports are updated each weeknight, where possible.