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Procedure Properties

Title: Communicable Diseases
Category: Support Services
Version: 03
Implement Date: 28 August 2006
Application: Custodial / Community Operations
Availability: Public


Appendices and Forms


Local Procedures

  • Capricornia - Pharmaceuticals - Dispensing Medication to Prisoners Accommodated at Low Security Facility (in-confidence)


Procedure - Communicable Diseases

2.Management of diseases (spread by blood, blood products or body fluids) and infections
3.Preventing spread of diseases / infections
4.Prisoners working in kitchens
5.Management of communicable disease outbreaks
6.Refusal of vaccination and screening
7.Notification of communicable / infectious diseases


To minimise the risk of illness and the spread of infection within corrective services facilities and provide for detection and management of communicable diseases.

1. Process

Appropriate vaccination procedures for prisoners and staff form part of the strategy aimed at reducing and preventing the spread of communicable diseases and infections within corrective services facilities.

Reporting procedures for all communicable diseases and infections will be consistent with Queensland Health policy. Immunisations must be carried out in accordance with the Queensland Corrective Services immunisation program. (Refer Communicable Diseases Control Manual - Queensland Health; appendix - Health Management Protocol - Immunisation Program)

2. Management of diseases (spread by blood, blood products or body fluids) and infections

Communicable diseases and infections listed in appendix - Disease and Infection Management must be managed in accordance with the practices outlined in the appendix and the Communicable Diseases Control Manual - Queensland Health.

For incidents where blood products are exposed or where a needle stick injury has occurred, refer procedures - Management of Blood Spills; Needle-Stick/Blood and Body Fluids Exposure

For updates on more recent diseases and infections refer

3. Preventing spread of diseases / infections

To prevent the spread of diseases and infections, a three-phase program has been implemented-

  1. detection of communicable diseases through blood screening;
  2. vaccination for Hepatitis B (Communicable diseases - vaccination); and
  3. implementation of standard precaution guidelines for infection control.

4. Prisoners working in kitchens

HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are not transmitted by food. However, a prisoner must be excluded from working in food preparation areas on medical grounds if suffering from conditions which include-

  1. Hepatitis A;
  2. Gastroenteritis; and
  3. Weeping dermatitis.

Medical staff must determine the period of exclusion.

5. Management of communicable disease outbreaks

Infectious diseases outbreaks with the potential for further spread within a corrective services facility must be managed in an appropriate and effective manner. This will often involve working in collaboration with local Public Health Units.

The following conditions must be reported to and managed with Public Health Services-

  1. Hepatitis A;
  2. Meningococcal disease;
  3. food borne diseases where two or more cases are concerned; and
  4. food borne diseases in food handlers (any number).

In these cases, the Department's Director, Health and Medical Services must be advised and contact with the relevant Public Health Unit established.

6. Refusal of vaccination and screening

Health services staff must ensure that all relevant information regarding a disease or infection, its spread, and prognosis are relayed to a prisoner who refuses vaccination and screening.

Q Fever is a vaccine preventable condition. A person who is already immune by either exposure to Q Fever or previous vaccination may react to vaccination. Accordingly, an approved practitioner should screen a prisoner prior to vaccination for Q Fever.

Refer appendices- Approved Practitioners for Skin Testing and Vaccination - Q Fever; Disease and Infection Management; Corrective Services Act 2006, s 21.

7. Notification of communicable / infectious diseases

A doctor who believes a prisoner is suffering from a notifiable disease is required to notify the Department's Director, Health and Medical Services and the Director-General, Queensland Health.

Refer- Form 41 - Notice by Medical Practitioner of Prisoner Suffering From a Communicable Disease; appendix - List of Notifiable Diseases in Disease and Infection Management.

F P Rockett

Version History

28/08/2006 Version 03 - 31/10/2003 Version 02 - 21/10/2002 Version 01