Adoption by WA Health of 'Series of National Guidelines' (SoNGS) produced by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia for public health management of communicable diseases

Applicable to: Public Health Units

Description: WA Health staff should henceforth use the ‘Series of National Guidelines’ (SoNGs) produced by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) as the operational guidelines for public health management of relevant communicable diseases in WA. Direct adoption and usage of the SoNGs - found at http://www.health.gov.au/cdnasongs - obviates the previous inefficient process, whereby each time a new or revised SoNG was released, the CDNA document was reformatted and issued as a separate WA Health Operational Directive.

Adoption by WA Health of 'Series of National Guidelines' (SoNGS) produced by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia for public health management of communicable diseases.

WA Health staff should, henceforth, use the ‘Series of National Guidelines’ (SoNGs) produced by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) as the operational guidelines for public health management of relevant communicable diseases in WA.  Direct adoption and usage of the SoNGs – found at http://www.health.gov.au/cdnasongs – obviates the previous inefficient process, whereby each time a new or revised SoNG was released, the CDNA document was reformatted and issued as a separate WA Health Operational Directive.

The SoNGs are developed by CDNA and endorsed by its parent committee, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).  These guidelines describe the public health management of certain notifiable and non-notifiable communicable diseases and are based on the best available evidence at the time of writing.  They are reviewed routinely every few years, or earlier if policy changes or new evidence deem it necessary.

On release of a new or revised SoNG, the Communicable Disease Control Directorate will advise WA Health staff directly involved in the public health management of communicable diseases, at which time it will become the accepted guideline.  When indicated, the appendices to the SoNG, including case surveillance forms and fact sheets, will be altered to make them more suitable to the WA context, and a link to the new or revised SoNG, along with the modified appendices, will be posted on the WA Health website.

Where SoNGs do not exist for a specific communicable disease, the latest versions of WA Health communicable disease control Operational Directives and guidelines should be used, where these exist.

For additional information, and for communicable diseases not covered by SoNGs or WA Health operational guidelines, the latest editions of the following resources should be used to guide public health management:

  • Control of Communicable Disease Manual. American Public Health Association (currently 20th edition, 2015, Heymann DL, ed.). 
  • The Australian Immunisation Handbook (currently 10th edition, 2013). 
  • Therapeutic Guidelines. Antibiotic (currently Version 15, 2014).

Dr D.J. Russell-Weisz
DIRECTOR GENERAL
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH WA

Date of effect: 17 February 2016 to 17 February 2021

Policy Framework