Most people will have an infectious (communicable) disease in their lifetime, such as the common cold or a stomach bug. These are usually mild and only last for a few days.
But some cases can be more serious. In Australia:
- in 2015-16, nearly 400,000 people were hospitalised as a result of infection with a communicable disease
- communicable diseases caused about 6,300 deaths in 2015
While the majority of communicable diseases are mild, it is important that steps are taken to prevent, monitor and respond to communicable diseases in Australia. Doing so helps reduce the risk of communicable diseases pose to our health.
Find out how the government monitors and responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, how you can help stop the spread of the virus in Australia and what to do if you have symptoms. We also report the latest case numbers, official medical advice and information on treatment.