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Disease information

Disease informationResourcesFAQs

A - E

Chickenpox (varicella)

With its typical red blistering and itchy rash, chickenpox is a highly contagious but generally mild infection, which can cause serious complications in some people.

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Cholera

This acute bacterial infection can cause severe diarrhoea and vomiting leading to rapid dehydration.

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Diphtheria

While now extremely rare in Australia thanks to immunisation, diphtheria continues to cause illness overseas. It can cause life-threatening complications.

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F - J

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) causes a bacterial infection that can lead to serious illness, especially in young children.

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Hepatitis A

This disease of the liver is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). While the symptoms are generally mild, they can become more severe and last up to 6 months.

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Hepatitis B

This disease of the liver may lead to serious illness or death. Babies and young children are most at risk of long-term, chronic illness.

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Human papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is a common infection that can rarely lead to cervical and other genital cancers. Immunisation is recommended and funded during adolescence.

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Influenza (flu)

This highly contagious viral infection can affect anyone and can lead to serious illness. A flu vaccine is recommended every year.

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Japanese encephalitis

This virus is passed from animals – mainly pigs and wading birds – to humans via mosquitoes. While symptoms are rare, it can lead to serious, long-term complications or death.

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K - O

Malaria

This infection of the liver and blood is caused by mosquito-borne parasites, and can lead to serious illness or death if not treated quickly.

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Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that causes a rash and fever. It can lead to serious, sometimes fatal, complications.

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Meningococcal ACWY disease

This rare infection can progress rapidly, causing serious long-term disability or death within 24 hours. Immunisation can help protect against common strains.

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Meningococcal B disease

This rare infection can progress rapidly, causing serious long-term disability or death within 24 hours. Immunisation can help protect against common strains.

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Mumps

This viral infection causes swelling of the salivary glands and fever. While rare in Australia, immunisation is recommended to help prevent cases from occuring.

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P - T

Pneumococcal disease

This potentially serious bacterial infection usually affects the very young and the elderly. Others can be at risk of complications, too.

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Polio

Polio is rare in Australia but is a serious disease that can lead to long-term disability, paralysis and death. With no cure, immunisation is important.

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Rabies

The rabies virus affects the nervous system and brain. A bite or scratch from an infected animal could put you at risk of rabies.

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Rotavirus

In infants and young children, rotavirus disease is the most common cause of severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

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Rubella

Also called German measles, rubella is generally a mild infection. Yet it can have serious, lifelong consequences for unborn babies or can lead to miscarriage.

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Shingles (herpes zoster)

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a disease that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox . Immunisation helps to protect you against developing this painful disease.

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Tetanus

Caused by bacteria commonly found in soil and manure, tetanus is a very serious disease. Immunisation is recommended to help protect against tetanus.

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Tuberculosis

This bacterial infection, is uncommon in Australia. However, it may impact travellers to certain areas in Africa, Asia and Central and South America.

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Typhoid

This bacterial infection causes high fever and other symptoms. Spread via contaminated food and water, immunisation can help prevent infection.

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U - Z

Whooping cough (pertussis)

More contagious than the flu, whooping cough affects people of all ages. It can cause serious disease in babies and complications in older adults.

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Yellow fever

This mosquito-borne virus is found in Africa and Central and South America. Proof of immunisation is needed if you are travelling from a country with risk.

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AUS/VAC/0116/18 Date of approval: November 2018