High Consequence Infectious Diseases

High consequence infectious diseases (HCID) are a range of infectious diseases typically characterised by the following features.

  • They are an acute infectious disease
  • They typically have a high case-fatality rate
  • There may not be effective prophylaxis or treatment
  • They may be difficult to recognise and detect rapidly
  • They are able to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
  • They require an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively, efficiently and safely.

One of the key HCIDs are viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs). VHFs are severe and life-threatening viral diseases that are endemic in parts of Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia. VHFs are not endemic in Australia and environmental conditions here are unlikely to support the natural reservoirs and vectors of any of the haemorrhagic fever viruses. VHF refers to any one of the following four infections:

  • Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever
  • Ebola virus disease
  • Lassa fever
  • Marburg virus haemorrhagic fever.

Education, training and factsheets

The identification and management of VHFs requires specialist services including infection prevention and control, and in particular enhanced use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Video resources

These resources provide a principles based framework and should be used in conjunction with current policies, guidelines, checklists and local risk assessments. The consumables used in these videos may differ to current available products.

Pandemic influenza

An influenza pandemic is a global epidemic caused by a new influenza virus to which there is little or no pre-existing immunity in the human population. Influenza pandemics are impossible to predict; and they may be mild or cause severe disease or death.

Refer to NSW Health Influenza Pandemic Plan.