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What do we know about communicable diseases among Indigenous people?

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What is known about communicable diseases in the Indigenous population?

Communicable diseases are diseases that are passed from person to person either by direct contact with an infected person or indirectly, such as through contaminated (dirty/unclean) food or water. Another example of indirect transmission is when the disease is spread through the air, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes and another person breathes in the air that contains the germs. Communicable diseases can be caused by:

Improvements to personal and environmental cleanliness, and the introduction of new immunisations (vaccines), have greatly reduced the number of people who catch some communicable diseases [2].

If a person contracts (catches/develops) certain communicable diseases (like tuberculosis), the disease must be ‘notified’; this means that the information is collected by health authorities. Data from state and territory collections are collected and published by the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (NNDSS), but Indigenous status is often not reported for large proportions of notifications. Recent information about communicable diseases includes:

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2004) Australia's health 2004: the ninth biennial health report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2012) Australia's health 2012. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  3. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (2009) Tuberculosis (TB): detailed explanation of TB. Retrieved 6 March 2009 from http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/tuberculosis/Understanding/WhatIsTB/Pages/detailed.aspx
  4. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009) Experimental estimates and projections, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: Projected population, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australia, states and territories, 2006-2021 series [data cube]. Retrieved 8 September 2009 from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/subscriber.nsf/log?openagent&32380ds002_2006.srd&3238.0&Data%20Cubes&E79A5308D989173FCA25762A001CE1C3&0&1991%20to%202021&08.09.2009&Latest
  5. Roche P, Bastian I, Krause V (2007) Tuberculosis notifications in Australia, 2005. Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 31(1): 71-80
  6. Roche PW, Krause V, Konstantinos A, Bastian I, Antic R, Brown L, Christensen A, Gebbie S, Hurwitz M, Misrachi A, Waring J (2008) Tuberculosis notifications in Australia, 2006. Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 32(1): 1-11
  7. Barry C, Konstantinos A, National Tuberculosis Advisory Committee (2009) Tuberculosis notifications in Australia, 2007. Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 33(3): 1-12
  8. Barry C, Waring J, Stapledon R, Konstantinos A (2012) Tuberculosis notifications in Australia, 2008 and 2009. Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 36(1): 82-94
  9. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2007) Australian demographic statistics, June quarter 2007. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  10. Hepatitis Australia (2010) About hepatitis. Retrieved 18 November 2011 from http://www.hepatitisaustralia.com/about-hepatitis
  11. The Kirby Institute (2012) HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: annual surveillance report 2012. Sydney: University of New South Wales
  12. The Kirby Institute (2011) HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: annual surveillance report 2011. Sydney: University of New South Wales
  13. National Centre in HIV Epidemiology & Clinical Research (2010) HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: annual surveillance report 2010. Sydney, NSW: National Centre in HIV Epidemiology & Clinical Research, University of New South Wales
  14. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011) Australian demographic statistics, March quarter 2011. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  15. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2012) Australian demographic statistics, September quarter 2011. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics
  16. The Kirby Institute (2013) HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: annual surveillance report 2013. Sydney: University of New South Wales
  17. Horby P, Gilmour R, Wang H, McIntyre P (2003) Progress towards eliminating Hib in Australia: an evaluation of Haemophilus influenzae type b prevention in Australia, 1 July 1993 to 30 June 2000. Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 27(3): 324-341
  18. Menzies R, Turnour C, Chiu C, McIntyre P (2008) Vaccine preventable diseases and vaccination coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Australia, 2003 to 2006. Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing
  19. The Australian immunisation handbook: 10th edition 2013 (2013) Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing
  20. NNDSS Annual Report Writing Group (2012) Australia's notifiable diseases status, 2010: annual report of the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 36(1): 1-69
  21. Naidu L, Chiu C, Habig A, Lowbridge C, Jayasinghe S, Wang H, McIntyre P, Menzies R (2013) Vaccine preventable diseases and vaccination coverage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, Australia 2006–2010. Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 37(December 2013 supplement): S1-S92
  22. Gonorrhoea (2006) Family Planning Association of WA
  23. Syphilis [fact sheet] (2009) Western Australia Communicable Disease Control Public Health
  24. Bowden FJ, Tabrizi SN, Garland SM, Fairley CK (2002) Sexually transmitted infections: new diagnostic approaches and treatments. Medical Journal of Australia; 176(11): 551-557
  25. Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service (nd) Womens' business: all about sexually transitted diseases HIV infection and AIDS. Redfern: Aboriginal Medical Services
  26. The Kirby Institute (2013) Bloodborne viral and sexually transmitted infections in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: annual surveillance report 2013. Sydney: University of New South Wales
  27. HIV & AIDS (2012) Western Australia Communicable Disease Control
  28. Walton SF, DBeroukas D, Roberts-Thomson P, Currie BJ (2008) New insights into disease pathogenesis in crusted (Norwegian) scabies: the skin immune response in crusted scabies. British Journal of Dermatology; 158(6): 1247-1255
  29. Hengge UR, Currie BJ, Jäger G, Lupi O, Schwartz RA (2006) Scabies: a ubiquitous neglected skin disease. The Lancet Infectious Diseases; 6(12): 769-779
  30. Carapetis JR, Connors C, Yarmirr D, Krause V, Currie BJ (1997) Success of a scabies control program in an Australian Aboriginal community. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal; 16(5): 494-499
  31. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2013) Australian hospital statistics 2011–12. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
 
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