Syphilis Outbreak in Northern South Australia

15 May 2017 - Communicable Disease Control Branch

The Communicable Disease Control Branch (CDCB) has been closely monitoring infectious syphilis notifications in South Australia in light of a multi-jurisdictional outbreak of syphilis occurring across northern Australia. It appears that this outbreak has spread to South Australia, with sustained transmission occurring in Port Augusta, and there is the potential for spread to other regions of South Australia.

In South Australia since November 2016 there has been a clustering of infectious syphilis cases amongst Indigenous persons in the Port Augusta region. Additional cases have occurred in the APY lands, Ceduna/Yalata and Coober Pedy, some with links to Port Augusta. In total, 11 cases of infectious syphilis have occurred in these regions, and of major concern, four cases of infectious syphilis have been diagnosed in pregnant women, and one child has been born with congenital syphilis.

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ZOSTAVAX® Vaccine Administration Alert

27 February 2017 - Communicable Disease Control Branch

  • Use of shingles vaccine (Zostavax®) when contraindicated has resulted in a death in Australia.
  • DO NOT administer Zostavax® to patients with severe immunocompromise.

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