Communicable Diseases

What are communicable diseases?
Communicable diseases are illnesses caused by micro-organisms which can be caught from other people, from animals or from the environment.

Why is it important to stop the spread of communicable diseases?
Some communicable diseases can spread quickly between people and cause outbreaks and epidemics.  Many communicable diseases can also cause serious disease especially in very young children, pregnant women, people with impaired immunity and the elderly.

What is done to stop the spread of communicable diseases?
The Northland Population and Public Health Unit provides a range of services to prevent, control the spread of, and assist in the management of communicable diseases.

Public Health Nurses and Health Protection Officers follow up diseases which have been notified to the Medical Officer of Health. For the diseases notifiable in New Zealand to the Medical Officer of Health from medical practitioners and medical laboratories please click here.

Other activities include:

  • surveillance
  • investigation of cases and outbreaks
  • health protection and health promotion programmes
  • public education
  • prevention

For more information on:

  1. Notifiable diseases in Northland – click here *updated*
  2. Notifiable diseases in New Zealand – click here
  3. Communicable disease fact sheets - click here or here
  4. Communicable Diseases in Northland 2013 - click here

If you want to talk to someone about communicable diseases:

  • Talk to your nurse or doctor or pharmacist or call Healthline 0800 611 116
  •  If you have questions about the public health aspects of communicable diseases then give us a call at 09 430 4100 and ask for the oncall Public Health Nurse or oncall Health Protection Officer

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