Infectious disease control

Overview

Infectious diseases occur frequently throughout the world and constant vigilance is required to prevent the reappearance of infectious diseases.

Health authorities depend on medical practitioners for information on the incidence of infectious diseases and notification is vital in efforts to prevent or control the spread of infection. The Public Health & Wellbeing Regulations 2009 require Medical Practitioners to notify the State Government whenever cases of certain Notifiable Diseases are confirmed. This enables the Department of Human Services to ensure that the sources of the disease and possible contacts that may be at risk are properly investigated.

In some instances, Council’s Environmental Health Team are involved in the investigations, particularly when a food-borne disease is involved or the patient is a food handler.

The Blue Book – Guidelines for the Control on Infectious Diseases helps assist in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. This book provides information on all the diseases that are notifiable in Victoria. This book is not intended to replace professional advice. If you believe you have an infectious disease, please visit your local General Practitioner as soon as possible.

The School Exclusion Table lists the minimum time that children should be excluded from school and day care centres for particular diseases or conditions.

For further information please go to the Department of Health website

Influenza Pandemic

The Environmental Health Team has developed an Influenza Pandemic Plan to help assist in reducing the impacts of an influenza pandemic within its municipality, and to provide support and recovery assistance throughout the duration of the influenza pandemic.

Head Lice

Head lice can affect infants, adolescents and adults. Head lice can be present on the scalp and in hair for weeks or even months before they are detected. Not all head lice cause an itch.

If a school aged child does have head lice, they should be excluded from school and readmitted following appropriate treatment. As a parent you are responsible for checking your child’s hair regularly for head lice, and if lice are found, they must be treated effectively.

Head lice are easier to combat with a community approach. If you find head lice in your family, please tell anyone who may have come into contact with that family member, such as their friends and/or notifying the school. This gives people outside of your home the opportunity to stop the spread of head lice in their homes.

Here are some Fact Sheets from the Department of Health which may be helpful or for more information on how to appropriately and effectively treat head lice or visit their website