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Communicable disease control

Our unit is responsible for the detection, prevention and management of communicable diseases in the community. A communicable disease is a disease that can be spread from another person, animal or insect. 

We investigate communicable diseases and try to prevent further spread to keep the local community healthy, safe and well.

What we do

  • Monitor and respond to notifiable diseases and conditions reported to Queensland Health under the Public Health Act 2005, including:
    • Food and water borne disease outbreaks
    • Vaccine preventable diseases
    • Mosquito-borne infections
    • Infections transmitted to humans from animals including Q Fever, Hendra virus and Australian Bat Lyssavirus.
  • Manage communicable disease outbreaks and public health incidents, including influenza in Residential Care Facilities (RCF)
  • Provide expert advice to health professionals, governments, industry and community
  • Develop, implement and partner with others on projects and research to prevent and control communicable diseases;
  • Monitor, enforce and promote compliance with the Public Health Act 2005
  • Human quarantine at Gold Coast International Airport
  • Joint program with local government and other agencies on mosquito control and mosquito borne diseases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you provide travel medicine advice? 

The Gold Coast Public Health Unit only provides advice for vaccines listed on the Immunisation Schedule Queensland. For travel medicine advice, please see a Travel Medicine specialist.

What should I do if I have been bitten or scratched by an animal overseas?

Option A

The Gold Coast Public Health Unit (GCPHU) follow up with all people who report to have had a potential exposure to rabies or Australian Bat Lyssavirus (ABLV). A potential exposure is defined as any bite or scratch from an at-risk animal; or contamination of mucous membranes or broken skin with saliva or neural tissues from an at-risk animal (e.g., through licking). An at-risk animal is defined as any mammal in rabies-endemic countries or bats from any country worldwide. Please contact the GCPHU immediately if you meet the criteria above. The team will assess your exposure and make treatment recommendations accordingly. Post-exposure management comprises wound care (including tetanus vaccination), administration of a rabies vaccine, and, if needed, administration of human rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG). Post-exposure management is recommended for anyone who has potentially been exposed to the rabies virus, even if they've been previously vaccinated.

Option B:

Call GCPHU immediately.

Additional Resources

Last updated 17 Oct 2023