Notification changes for invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS)

  21 February 2024  Victorian Department of Health (Public Health Division)   |   Third party content – view disclaimer

There are upcoming amendments to the Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 for invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS).

The amendments under the regulations will commence on 1 March 2024.

The amendments make iGAS an urgent notifiable condition for medical practitioners and pathology services in Victoria. Previously, it was a routine notifiable condition for pathology services only.

In summary, the changes mean that:

  • medical practitioners will be required to immediately notify cases of iGAS by telephone as soon as practicable and within 24 hours upon initial diagnosis, where there is either:
    • laboratory definitive evidence that meets the confirmed case definition; OR
      clinical evidence AND laboratory suggestive evidence that meets the probable case definition.
  • pathology services will be required to immediately notify iGAS by telephone upon initial diagnosis, followed by written notification within 5 business days, where there is laboratory definitive evidence that meets the confirmed case definition.

For further information on iGAS case definitions, please see the Invasive Group A streptococcal disease (iGAS) – Surveillance case definition on the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care website.

In short, the amendments aim to improve the:

  • timeliness of the public health response for iGAS cases, contacts, and outbreaks
  • surveillance of iGAS, including notification of probable cases by medical practitioners.

Most cases of iGAS are diagnosed and notified in hospital settings. The amendments are anticipated to mainly impact hospital-based medical practitioners and pathology services; however, information about the upcoming amendments is being shared across the health sector in Victoria.

Public communications and guidance will become available to support medical practitioners and pathology services.

Disclaimer: This article was provided by Victorian Department of Health (Public Health Division). While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.