Gippsland Region Public Health Unit

Creating healthy, happier communities

The Gippsland Region Public Health Unit is led by Latrobe Regional Health to manage and respond to public health issues in Gippsland.

The Gippsland Region Public Health Unit (GRPHU) is one of nine local public health units across Victoria working closely with the Department of Health in a statewide system of public health delivery and response. GRPHU works throughout the Gippsland region, from the outer south-eastern aspects of metropolitan Melbourne to the easternmost point of Victoria.

We work in partnership with local communities to deliver place-based policies, programs, and practice, including managing notifiable diseases, chronic disease prevention, health promotion, environmental health, and emergency management. These key public health functions are strengthened by Aboriginal health leadership, health data analytics, surveillance, communications, community engagement, research, and more.

Contact the GRPHU
7 days, 9am to 4.30pm
Phone: (03) 5173 5451

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Public Health Latest

Q Fever Awareness Campaign

The Gippsland Region Public Health Unit (GRPHU) is launching a campaign within the agricultural sector about the risk of Q Fever infection.

Q Fever is a disease that disproportionately affects people working in agriculture and is particularly prevalent in Gippsland.

The disease can be contracted in a number of ways including:

  • inhalation of dust particles contaminated by infected animals, mainly cattle, sheep and goats
  • handling infected animals
  • handling the wool or hide of an infected animal
  • coming in contact with materials that have been infected such as straw or clothing
  • contact with animal faeces, urine or birth products.

The GRPHU will be working with local agricultural stakeholders, GPs and the broader community to deepen knowledge of Q Fever and prevention measures including increasing testing and vaccination.

“While the numbers are small, this is a potentially serious condition with long term implications,” GRPHU senior epidemiologist, Katie Walker said.

“Gippsland is over-represented in the state’s Q Fever statistics with more than 25 per cent of cases detected despite being home to only four per cent of the state’s population. Most cases were identified in the Wellington Shire.”


Mpox (Monkeypox) Testing and Vaccination 

Mpox (formally known as Monkeypox) continues to spread in many countries.

In Victoria, the risk of local transmission and transmission linked to international travel remains.

Mpox can be spread from person to person through skin-to-skin contact, contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, and respiratory droplets. 

People with symptoms of mpox should seek medical care and testing, which are strictly confidential. 

Symptoms can include rash, fever, chills, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymphnodes, sore throat and exhaustion.  

Mpox vaccination is available for eligible people through certain sexual health clinics, hospitals and GPs. Check your eligibility here. 

Gippsland Region Public Health Unit is continuing to work with health partners in Gippsland to support vaccination and testing for people at high-risk of contracting mpox.

What do I need to get vaccinated?

You will need a current Medicare card or IHI number, and the vaccine doses will be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register. If you require further information about the IHI (Individual Healthcare Identifier) number, please click here.

GRPHU - Quarterly Report - Winter 2023

Winter is a time for increased transmission of respiratory illnesses.

  • Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection, which can range from mild to severe illness, and life-threatening complications including pneumonia​
  • Getting the flu vaccine each year and practising hand and respiratory hygiene is the best way to prevent flu infection
  • We are yet to reach peak flu season this winter, but flu cases in Gippsland appear lower compared to the same time last year


Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

  • RSV is the most common cause of respiratory and breathing infections in children
  • It is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children under 1 year old
    RSV can affect people of all ages and may cause severe disease in the elderly and those who are immunocompromised
  • 61% of Gippsland RSV cases in 2023 have been in children aged 0-4


Protect yourself this Winter

  • Keep up to date with flu and COVID-19 vaccinations – check in with your GP​
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow, not your hand​
  • Regularly wash hands with warm water and soap or use hand sanitiser​
  • When unwell, stay home and avoid contact with high-risk groups, such as infants, young children, older people and people with a pre-existing heart or lung problems or a weakened immune system.

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The GRPHU produces occasional newsletters for the health sector as well as members of the community with the latest information from the Department of Health in Victoria and the Commonwealth Department of Health.

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