Gippsland Region Public Health Unit,

GRPHU – Quarterly Report – Autumn 2024

Gippsland is over-represented in Victoria’s Q Fever statistics.

What is Q Fever?

Q Fever is a zoonotic disease that is commonly transmitted to humans from infected animals especially sheep, goats and cattle.

In 2023, Gippsland comprised 36.3 per cent of all Victorian Q Fever cases, but accounted for only 4 per cent of the state’s population.

How can we prevent Q Fever?

There is a safe and effective vaccine that prevents Q Fever and is highly recommended for people aged 15 and over who work in high-risk occupations, such as the dairy industry.


Gippsland had an increase in notified Respiratory Syncytial Virus cases, most commonly known as RSV.

RSV became notifiable in May 2022 and is now the second most notified condition in Gippsland after COVID-19, according to 2024 year-to-date data.

Who is most at risk of RSV?

Infants, kids under five and elderly people are at increased risk of severe illness, and in serious cases can include hospitalisation and even death for older people.

How can we prevent RSV?

A new RSV vaccine called AREXVY was registered for use on the private market in January 2024, However, it is not currently funded under the National Immunisation Program.

AREXVY is only available for adults aged 60 or over to prevent illness and severe complications associated with RSV infection.

Older adults with chronic medical conditions, elderly or frail, or living in aged care, are at increased risk of severe illness and will benefit most from RSV vaccination.


Cryptosporidiosis notifications have increased significantly in Gippsland.

What is Cryptosporidiosis?

Cryptosporidiosis is a type of gastroenteritis caused by a parasite called cryptosporidium. It can cause serious and prolonged illness for people with weakened immune systems.

Cryptosporidiosis can be linked to aquatic facilities like swimming pools.

Notifiable cases for cryptosporidiosis in Gippsland were higher  in January to April 2024 compared to last year.

How can we prevent cryptosporidiosis?

Thorough handwashing will help prevent the spread of cryptosporidiosis.

People with gastro symptoms, particularly diarrhoea, should stay away from work or school for 48 hours after symptoms have stopped

People who have been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis or diarrhoea from an unknown cause should keep out of the water for 14 days after their symptoms have stopped.


Pertussis cases in Gippsland are higher in 2024.

Cases of pertussis – or whooping cough in the Gippsland region are about twice as high as they have been in the past 3 years for this time of year.

Transmission slowed amid Victorian pandemic restrictions in March/April 2020. The highest number of notifications in Gippsland were in 2019 and pre-pandemic 2020.

How can we prevent pertussis?

The three-in-one vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) is the best way to reduce the risk of contracting pertussis.


Here are six simple steps to stay ahead of COVID-19 and other acute respiratory infections:

Wear a mask: A high-quality and well-fitted mask can protect you and others from the virus.

Get vaccinated: Stay up-to-date with your vaccinations including COVID-19 and annual flu booster.

Let in some fresh air: Open windows and doors when you can as it reduces the spread of the virus. Meet outside when possible.

Get tested: If you have symptoms, take a rapid antigen test (RAT) for COVID-19.

Stay at home if you are unwell: Speak to your GP if symptoms worsen.

Take COVID-19 antivirals if eligible: You must take these within five days of developing symptoms. The sooner the better. See your GP for more information.