When you have a notifiable condition
There are a number of infectious or communicable diseases that must be 'notified' by law to SA Health. These infectious or communicable diseases are commonly referred to as 'notifiable conditions'.
Why are some diseases notifiable?
The reporting of notifiable conditions enables SA Health to investigate, monitor and control the spread of these infectious diseases across the South Australian community.
What diseases are notifiable?
There are around 70 diseases or conditions that must be notified to SA Health. These include:
- hepatitis A, B and C
- Australian bat lyssavirus
- invasive pneumococcal disease
To see if a disease is notifiable, refer to the Notifiable Conditions list (PDF 62KB).
What happens when I have a notifiable condition?
Doctors and medical laboratories are legally obliged under the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 to 'notify' or 'inform' SA Health about anyone who is either suspected of having, or who is confirmed as having a notifiable condition. This information is dealt with confidentially by SA Health's Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB).
Doctors are encouraged to let you know that they will notify SA Health about your notifiable condition, and that as a result, CDCB may be in contact with you.
What information is collected?
If you are suspected or confirmed as having a notifiable condition, SA Health requires the following information:
- your name, age, gender, residential address and contact details
- if you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- the date you first became unwell
- your doctor's name and contact details.
Additional information regarding vaccinations for the notifiable condition, potential sources of the infection or travel histories may also be collected if this information is relevant to the type of notifiable condition.
Will SA Health contact me?
Yes, for some notifiable conditions, SA Health will contact you.
Why will SA Health contact me?
The purpose of contacting you is usually to attempt to obtain information which may assist with:
- identifying the source of infection
- identifying other people who may require treatment or information
What happens with my personal details?
SA Health staff cannot access data contained in the notification process unless they are involved in the data collection or investigation process. Also, notification data cannot be released to any persons not involved in data collection and investigation.
All information collected will be treated as private and confidential and notification data with personal details can only be secured by a court order.
Do I have to tell others if I contract a notifiable condition?
You do not have to tell others if you have become infected with a notifiable condition. However your doctor and the CDCB may advise you of exclusion periods from work, school, childcare or group activities. You are asked to observe those recommendations.
Does my partner need to be notified and tested?
Partners of individuals diagnosed with some sexually transmitted infections and blood borne viruses should be tested for infection. Your doctor or Adelaide Sexual Health Centre will provide you with advice on confidential partner notification processes.