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The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin



The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin

Other title

Disease Control Bulletin


Territory Health Services, Centre for Disease Control


Northern Territory disease control bulletin; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Northern Territory disease control bulletin






Date:2002-03; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Communicable diseases; Reporting; Northern Territory; Statistics; Periodicals

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



Northern Territory disease control bulletin


v. 9 no. 1

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin Vol 9, No.1, March 2002 26 Points to note regarding NT Notifications on page 27 Kokobera, Brucellosis, Chancroid, Cholera, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, Gastroenteritis, Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome, Hepatitis C (incidence), Hepatitis D & E, Hydatid Disease, Lymphogranuloma venereum, Measles, Poliomyelitis, Vibrio Food Poisoning and Viral Haemorrhagic Fever are all notifiable but had "0" notifications in this period. The higher numbers of cases of RRV and BFV in 2001 reflected an increased rainfall pattern across the entire Territory during the calendar year 2001. Nearly all areas of the NT had higher than average rainfall and some parts had the highest ever recorded. The 2001 figures for BFV were the highest since 1997 and for RRV the highest since 1995. In 2001 notifications of campylobacter infection increased by 50% over 2000 levels. This to some degree reflects an overall increase in campylobacter rates nationally and, since enteric pathogens tend to be more common in the wetter months, may also be a reflection of the increased rainfall over the Territory in the 2001 calendar year. The number of notifications in 2001 was the highest since 1995. Trachoma notifications increased in 2001 due to an outbreak in the Darwin District where 71 cases were notified, compared with 26 the previous year. The outbreak occurred in a community in the Darwin rural district that prompted a screening program. It is nevertheless interesting that trachoma, usually a disease associated with dry climates, is now more prevalent in the tropical areas of the NT. Of note these cases are laboratory confirmed by PCR or culture and do not include clinically diagnosed cases found by staff experienced at everting the eye lid and recognising follicles. The marked rise in pertussis cases in 2001 reflects the onset of an epidemic with numbers similar to those seen in the last epidemic in 1994-1995. The increase in rotavirus cases in 2001 were due to an epidemic which started in Alice Springs and moved up through the Territory. See article in The Bulletin September 2001. There has been a large increase in notifications of congenital syphilis from zero in the year 2000 to 17 in 2001. This increase in part represents an increase in awareness of the case definition and the responsibility of paediatricians to notify the condition to CDC. New notifications of syphilis also appear to have increased from 2000 to 2001. In the absence of further data to indicate a greater level of testing, this increase may be indicative of a true increase in new syphilis cases. The increase in the number of cases of donovanosis for 2001 in the Alice Springs region may indicate an increase in screening for both men and women. The reporting of notifiable diseases onset date to replace report date Traditionally, NT notifiable diseases have been reported in The Bulletin and elsewhere according to their report date. This is the date on which the case is reported to the CDC office in the district where the case occurred. The other date that is often used in reporting notifiable disease data is the onset date which is the date on which symptoms of the disease began. However, this date is often either not known or not recorded, and in this situation is substituted by the date on which the diagnostic test was taken (the collection date) which is always recorded on the pathology form. Logically, the onset date better depicts the actual time the disease occurred, even if it has been substituted by the specimen collection date. Nationally and internationally, onset date is becoming the standard method of reporting notifiable diseases and from the next edition of The Bulletin we will be reporting notifiable diseases by onset date. This will not cause any major change in the counts and rates but may cause some aberration in the data in the future. For example the number of cases reported in this edition for 2001 (still by report date) may not exactly match the number reported for 2001 (by onset date) as the previous comparison year to 2002 in future editions of The Bulletin. *************