Australia’s active hospital-based surveillance for severe childhood disease


Principal investigator

Dr Philip Britton

PAEDS has conducted surveillance for acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) since 2007. To retain Australia’s polio-free status it is important that Australia contributes to AFP surveillance including meeting World Health Organization surveillance targets related to case identification, stool collection and case investigation. This work contributes to the goal of global polio eradication.

PAEDS sites continue to notify most of the AFP cases that are reported in Australia to the Polio Expert Panel of the Department of Health and provide stool samples to the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) for testing for enteric pathogens. Together with the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit (APSU) and National Enterovirus Reference Laboratory(NERL/VIDRL), PAEDS has helped achieve WHO benchmarks each year since 2007. A recent review of polio surveillance in Australia confirmed the importance of PAEDS surveillance for AFP.