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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Ongoing transmission of tuberculosis in Aboriginal communities in NSW Volume 24 Issue 1

Sue Devlin, Erin Passmore

NSW Public Health Bulletin 24(1) 38-42 Published: 15 July 2013

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About the author/s

Sue Devlin | North Coast Public Health Unit

Erin Passmore | NSW Public Health Officer Training Program, NSW Ministry of Health

Corresponding author

Sue Devlin | [email protected]


This report describes the ongoing transmission of tuberculosis in Aboriginal communities in NSW. From October 2000 to July 2012 there were 30 linked cases of tuberculosis diagnosed in Aboriginal people – 22 in the North Coast area of NSW, with a further three cases in Sydney and five in southern Queensland. It is likely that a range of factors have contributed to this ongoing transmission, including delayed diagnosis, the extensive social connections within the communities affected, and the highly mobile living arrangements of many of those affected. Cases have continued to emerge despite implementation of tuberculosis control measures in line with state and international protocols. Tuberculosis control staff are working in partnership with Aboriginal communities to identify and implement appropriate tuberculosis control strategies.