Friday 5 July 2024

By 3 July in 2024 there were 644,633 instances of communicable diseases recorded in Australia - 75.83% of which were respiratory diseases (with COVID-19 leading the respiratory numbers)

ScienceOpen, Zoonoses, Volume 4, Issue 1:

GlobalInfectious Diseases between January and March 2024: Periodic Analysis

Tingting, J. et al, published 21 May 2024

FIGURE 1 | Worldwide distribution of infectious diseases from January to March 2024.

In the past 3 decades, >40 previously unidentified infectious diseases have emerged globally. This emergence, coupled with accelerated urbanization, advancing transportation networks, climate change, and global population aging, has led to the rapid spread and increased recurrence of infectious diseases worldwide. Consequently, these phenomena pose a significant threat to public health and safety, while profoundly impacting economic and social development.

As a result, the effective prevention and control of newly emerging infectious diseases have become pressing imperatives for humanity. Simultaneously, bolstering research efforts aimed at preventing and treating emerging infectious diseases remains an ongoing pursuit within the medical domain, encapsulated by the adage, “with greater knowledge comes greater challenges.” It is an unequivocal responsibility for healthcare practitioners to diligently explore timely and efficacious methods and strategies for preventing and treating newly emerging infectious diseases.

The Australian Government Dept. of Health Surveillance Dashboard (listing 9 major disease groups & updated 3 July 2024) records that to date in 2024 there have been 644,633 instances of confirmed communicable diseases in Australia.

With the highest numbers found in the Respiratory Diseases Group with a total of 488,848 confirmed instances across 6 named diseases:

COVID-19 209,532 cases

Influenza (laboratory confirmed) 53,014 cases

Legionellosis (Legionnaires' disease) 347 cases

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) 12,383 cases

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) 112,891 cases

Tuberculosis 711 cases.

Note: In the year to 22 June 2024 the Northern NSW Local Health District recorded:

2,406 confirmed cases of COVID-19;

680 confirmed cases of Influenza;

1,063 confirmed cases of RSV; and

To date the area health service has not issued a specific Pertussis alert for the Northern Rivers region this year.

The Surveillance Dashboard group with the second highest numbers was Gastrointestinal diseases with a total of 41,169 confirmed instances across 13 named diseases.

While the group with the third highest numbers was Sexually transmissible infections with a total of 81,088 confirmed instances across 4 named diseases.

The group with the fourth highest numbers was sadly Vaccine preventable diseases with a total of 20,487 confirmed instances across 13 diseases.

The only communicable diseases on the Surveillance Dashboard not listed as occurring from 1 January to 3 July 2024 are Donovanosis, Poliovirus infection, Rubella congenital, Tetanus, Japanese encephalitis virus infection, Anthrax, Australian bat lyssavirus infection & Tularaemia.

The highest number of communicable disease notifications to date originated from New South Wales (263,628), Queensland (138,625) and Victoria (116,788). These three states making up a combined est. 80.51% of all notifications.


From 2022 to 2024 COVID-19 has been the leading cause of acute respiratory infection mortality in Australia, totally 21,158 deaths with more males dying from COVID-19 compared to females.

There were est. 1,367 COVID-19 deaths between 1 January and 31 May 2024 - 626 females and 741 males.

There were also 152 recorded deaths from Influenza with more males than females having died from influenza in 2024. Additionally, a total of 114 deaths were recorded from RSV in 2024.

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