Text OnlyPrint View

Notifiable diseases for medical practitioners in the NT

Which diseases do doctors have to notify?

 Under the Notifiable Diseases Act a disease is made notifiable by inclusion on a schedule of notifiable diseases which is declared by the Minister and published in the government gazette. A disease can be notifiable by doctors or by laboratories (or both) and can be urgent or non-urgent.

The process by which this occurs is through the NT Notifiable Diseases Committee which reports to the Chief Health Officer and meets at least annually to decided how to advise the Minister with respect to adding or removing diseases to the list, or changing the status of diseases already on the list.

The committee makes its decision based on predetermined criteria similar to those used by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia to advise the Australian Government Minister on adding diseases to the National List. For the NT these criteria are:

  • Feasability of collection
  • Ability to be well defined
    Immediacy of an intervention
    Vaccine preventability
    Outbreak potential of the disease
    Potential for disease control programs
    High-case fatality rate
    Community or political concerns
    International concern
    Terrorist agent
    Quarantinable diseases
    Evaluation of programs
    Importance to Indigenous health
    Consistency across jurisdictions
    Significant incidence or significant cause of morbidity
    Emerging or re-emerging disease
    Alternative data source currently in place
    Environmental impact

The notifiable diseases schedule was last updated 12 June 2013.

Download Notifiable conditions to be reported in the NT (Adobe PDF document - 777KB)

Download Notifiable Disease Committee Terms of Reference (Adobe PDF document - 26KB)

 The Notifiable Diseases Act requires doctors and laboratories to notify diseases which are scheduled under the Act. There are about 90 diseases in all, 54 of which are notifiable by doctors. Of these, a large proportion (43) are also notifiable by laboratories.

Some of the diseases are designated as urgently notifiable (marked with a phone symbol phone) and some are non-urgent.

What are the important diseases to notify?

There are two groups of diseases which are particularly important to notify:

  • those designated urgent (marked with a phone symbol). The more likely and important ones here are:
  • Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis
  • Dengue if thought to be acquired in the NT
  • Enteric disease in an institution or food-handler
  • Outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease
  • Measles
  • Pertussis
  • Malaria
  • Tuberculosis
  • those which involve a clinical diagnosis and might not be notifiable by the laboratory, such as:
  • Acute rheumatic fever
  • Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis
  • Adverse vaccine reaction
  • AIDS
  • Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease
  • Enteric disease in an institution or food-handler
  • Outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease
  • Congenital syphilis
  • Haemolytic uraemic syndrome

We would prefer to know about a notifiable disease when the diagnosis is seriously considered, rather than wait for final confirmation. An unconfirmed case does not automatically mean public health action will be taken, but readiness can be made and more information be available to aid you in making a diagnosis eg other measles cases in the community.

Please acquaint yourself with the list of notifiable conditions. Many are rare diseases (such as botulism and plague) and others are becoming increasingly rare as a result of immunisation and other public health activities (such as measles and Haemophilus influenzae type b infection). 

Do not hesitate to contact your local CDC if you require any further assistance.

Your assistance in this public health activity is appreciated.

Notifiable diseases for laboratories in the NT

Download Notifiable conditions to be reported in the NT (Adobe PDF document - 777KB)

Download Guide to laboratory notification in the Northern Territory (Adobe PDF document - 76KB)

How do you notify the Centre for Disease Control?

There are two ways to notify a disease:

1.     Telephone - any of the diseases on the list can be notified by telephone. (See our Contact Us page)
2.     Notification form (Adobe PDF document - 598KB)  this form can be filled in and sent postage-free to the Centre for Disease Control or by fax (always remember to photocopy a few before you use the last one).

If we require further information or if a public health response is required, we will always get in contact with you. Please contact us