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Health topics

We’ve organised our health, ageing and sport information into health topics. Topics are listed alphabetically or you can use the search box to find what you need.

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Meningococcal disease is contagious. It is transmitted through close and prolonged contact with mucus from an infected person. Symptoms include a rash and fever. Meningococcal can affect people of all ages, but can be prevented with vaccination. Meningococcal disease is treated with antibiotics.

Mumps is a highly contagious disease, spread through contact with an infected person. Symptoms including fever and swelling of the face. Mumps can affect people of all ages but can be prevented with vaccination. Mumps has no treatment – most people get better on their own.

Pneumococcal disease is a contagious disease. Symptoms including fever and headaches. It can affect people of all ages but can be prevented with vaccination. Pneumococcal disease is treated with antibiotics.

Polio is a contagious disease, spread by close contact with an infected person. Symptoms include fever and headaches. Polio can affect people of all ages but can be prevented with vaccination. Due to immunisation, polio is very rare in Australia.

Rotavirus is a highly contagious disease, spread by close contact with an infected person. Symptoms include severe diarrhoea and vomiting. Rotavirus can be prevented with immunisation and attention to hand washing. There is no treatment for rotavirus except for rest and drinking plenty of fluids.

Rubella, or German measles, is a contagious disease with symptoms that include fever and rash. It can affect people of all ages but can be prevented with vaccination. Treatment includes rest, fluids and medication for fever.

Shingles is a viral disease that can cause severe nerve pain. Vaccination is the best protection against shingles.

Tetanus is a life-threatening bacterial infection that causes severe muscle spasms and sometimes death. Tetanus is not contagious and people of all ages can be affected. Tetanus can be prevented by vaccination. Treatment includes being given antitoxin, usually in hospital.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease. Symptoms that include fever and long periods of coughing that sound like a ‘whoop’. Whooping cough can affect people of all ages but it is more serious for babies. Whooping cough can be prevented by immunisation. Treatment includes antibiotics.

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We will add more topics as we rewrite and improve our information over the next few months. Until then, you can find other topics on health.gov.au.