Vaccine preventable diseases information
Limiting the spread of vaccine preventable diseases
Influenza and other vaccine preventable diseases, such as pertussis (whooping cough), chicken pox and measles are often passed on through coughing and sneezing.
Initially people may present with common symptoms such as general unwellness, coughing and sneezing.
For some diseases people maybe infectious before the symptoms of the illness first appear.
To limit the spread of vaccine preventable diseases it is a good idea to:
- regularly washing your hands throughout the day
- limiting personal contact (such as handshaking) whilst meeting with people who indicate that they are unwell or think they may be unwell
- covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze. If you use a tissue, discard it in a plastic-lined rubbish bin, then wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve or inner elbow
- avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- washing your hands afterwards if you have been in contact with a person or material (such as paperwork) from someone suspected of being unwell, before moving on to other business
- seeking medical advice if you have symptom
- avoid attending work until you have recovered or your medical practitioner has confirmed you are able to attend the workplace
- follow medical advice to ensure recovery
- avoid public places and close contact with others
Consider immunisation for vaccine preventable diseases - discuss this with your medical practitioner.
Supervisors and Managers
- If you become aware that a staff member or student has a vaccine preventable disease, encourage the person to seek advice from their medical practitioner
- Advise staff and students if they are concerned about possible exposure to a vaccine preventable disease to visit their medical practitioner
The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services monitors infectious disease notifications and assesses the need for any follow up actions. This includes the need for any contact tracing.
The University will cooperate with the Department of Health and Human Services if they identify a need for contact tracing within the University of Melbourne community.
Steps to take if you think you have been exposed to influenza or other vaccine preventable disease
If believe you may have been exposed to an infectious disease visit your medical practitioner for appropriate advice. Do this, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition, are an older person, are pregnant or in another high risk category for complications from illness.
Vaccine preventable diseases program
There are a range of vaccinations provided by the University in response to risks identified within the work environment. These include:
Vaccinations for occupationally acquired diseases
The University provides vaccinations for the prevention of a number of occupationally acquired diseases including:
- Q fever
- hepatitis A and B
- tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis)
- chicken pox (varicella)
- meningococcal disease
The Occupational Health team can advise on your vaccination requirements in regards to employment at the University. Immunisations may be provided by Occupational Health, Health Service or by your doctor. For immunisation services provided by the University of Melbourne Health Service please refer to their website.
The University Health & Safety Services team coordinates an annual University of Melbourne Influenza Vaccination Program.
The program offers eligible employees and graduate research students the opportunity to receive a yearly influenza vaccination at no personal cost.
All staff travelling on University business are required to assess the risks of their travel destination and, if appropriate, undertake all necessary vaccinations.
Immunisation may take eight weeks to complete, so it is important to consult your provider well in advance of departure.
For guidance on the type of vaccinations that may be required, refer to The Travel Doctor, and use the Travel Health Planner.
Prevention and Resources
Reducing your risk of contracting or sharing illness or infection is integral to the health of the University community.
A cold or flu is an infectious illness caused by a virus. You can spread it to other people by coughing and sneezing, or by close contact with another person, such as shaking hands or kissing.
Prevention tips to limit the spread of colds and flu
You can limit the spread of colds and flu by:
- regularly washing your hands throughout the day.
- limiting personal contact (such as handshaking) whilst meeting with people who indicate that they are unwell or think they may be unwell.
- covering your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze. If you use a tissue, discard it in a plastic-lined rubbish bin, then wash your hands. If you do not have a tissue, you can cough or sneeze into your sleeve or inner elbow.
- avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- washing your hands afterwards if you have been in contact with a person or material (such as paperwork) from someone suspected of being unwell, before moving on to other business.
- seeking medical advice if you have symptoms of a cold or flu.
- cleaning shared work surfaces regularly during flu season.
- practicing good hygiene in class rooms, staff rooms and where there is shared preparation of food.
- receiving a flu vaccination.
- staying home if you are ill.
- going home if you fall ill during the day.
- encouraging unwell students to stay home.
Cold and flu prevention promotional publications
Department of Human Services posters have been installed in toilets and washrooms throughout the University:
- Protect yourself and your family - wash your hands regularly
- Protect yourself and your family - cover your cough and sneeze
If posters are missing or damaged, you can print your own from the links above.
Medical advice and treatment
The University Health Service is accessible to staff and students. It provides non-emergency health care to local and international students and their dependents, and University of Melbourne staff
The Occupational Health team provides health monitoring and work-related vaccination advice to staff .
The Department of Health Nurse On Call Service provides any member of the public initial medical advice from a registered nurse over the telephone.
The Department of Health and Human Services guidelines for the control of infectious diseases offers general health information about infectious diseases.
Contact your own general practitioner for further medical advice or treatment.