Updates to the Communicable Disease Control Manual

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other spongiform encephalopathies

In July 2020, we updated the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and other spongiform encephalopathies chapter.

The key changes include:

  • revision of notification procedure 
  • revision of clinical descriptions
  • revision of guidance on investigations for diagnosis
  • revised References and Further Information section.

The General considerations chapter was also updated to reflect the addition of novel coronavirus capable of causing severe respiratory illness (including COVID-19) to the list of notifiable diseases.


In August 2019, we updated the Tuberculosis chapter to refer to the new Guidelines for Tuberculosis Control in New Zealand 2019.


In May 2019, updates were made to the VTEC/STEC chapter and Table 2.4 in Appendix 2.

Sections with more significant changes include:

  • Epidemiology in New Zealand: more detailed description provided
  • Clinical description turned into a clinical case definition 
  • Health education: more information provided
  • References and further information: more detailed references provided.

Sections with minor changes include:

  • Mode of transmission
  • Period of communicability
  • Investigation
  • Identification of source
  • Reporting.

Appendix 4: Direct laboratory notification diagram for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

In March 2019, we added Appendix 4, which contains the direct laboratory notification diagram for HIV.


In December 2018, the HIV and AIDS chapters were revised for clarity. This followed on from the update in October 2018 to incorporate the new HIV and AIDS notification system.


In November 2018, updates were made to the Mumps chapter. Serology testing has been deleted from the laboratory evidence in the case definition.

Neisseria meningitidis invasive disease

In October 2018, updates were made to the Neisseria meningitidis invasive disease chapter.

The key changes include:

  • updates to the antimicrobials (ciprofloxacin) and immunisation (conjugate vaccines) sections
  • references and further information.

Syphilis and gonorrhoea

In October 2018, case definitions for Syphilis and Gonorrhoea were included in the Communicable Disease Control Manual. The chapters for both diseases will be finalised alongside surveillance developments.


In May 2018, updates were made to the Measles chapter.

Sections with changes include:

  • Epidemiology in New Zealand
  • Mode of transmission 
  • Management of contacts
  • Incubation period
  • Infection control.

Mumps, Neisseria meningitidis invasive disease and other minor changes

In March 2018, updates were made to the mumps and Neisseria meningitidis invasive disease chapters.

The key changes to the Mumps chapter include:

  • laboratory testing if no epidemiological link established
  • clarification about low value of mumps IgM and IgG serology testing.
  • clarification of the period of communicability used for contact tracing
  • correction of duplication and footnote numbering
  • references and further information.

For the Neisseria meningitidis invasive disease chapter, changes were made to the immunisation section to include information on how to access meningococcal B vaccine for a multi-occupancy residential meningococcal B outbreak.

A number of minor changes, to improve the clarity of the wording and the intent, were also made to the following chapters:

Enteric diseases

In December 2017, a number of changes were made to the enteric chapters, in particular to the case definitions, clinical description and laboratory test for diagnosis sections.

The key changes are:

  • case definitions
  • clinical description
  • to reflect changes in diagnostic testing methods, changes have been made to the laboratory test for diagnosis section
  • case classification
  • appendix 1, 2 and 3 have amendments to legislation requirements and table 2.4: Exclusions and clearance criteria.


In December 2017, an updated Pertussis chapter was published. The key changes include:

  • updated objectives of surveillance for pertussis in the epidemiology in New Zealand section
  • clinical description changes to ‘A clinically compatible case characterised by a cough and one or more of paroxysms of cough; cough ending in vomiting, cyanosis or apnoea; inspiratory whoop’
  • case classification for ‘Probable’ changed to: ‘A clinically compatible illness where the cough is lasting longer than 2 weeks’
  • exclusion of cases can be shortened to 2 days if azithromycin is used
  • susceptible contacts should be given prophylaxis and not excluded while taking prophylaxis as long as they don’t have symptoms.


In August 2017, an updated chapter on Poliomyelitis was published.

Invasive pneumococcal disease

In October 2016, an updated Invasive pneumococcal disease chapter was published to include changes to the case definition and section on laboratory tests for diagnosis.


In July 2016, an updated Legionellosis chapter was published. The key changes in the new chapter are:

  • updates to the section on the clinical description of infection with Legionella
  • updates to the section on laboratory tests for diagnosis, including the addition of details about detection of Legionella species nucleic acid as a definitive laboratory evidence for a confirmed case.

Rheumatic fever

In December 2014, an updated Rheumatic fever chapter was published. The key changes in the new chapter are:

  • the removal of the requirement to notify Rheumatic Heart Disease under the age of 20
  • alignment of the case definitions to be consistent with the New Zealand Heart Foundation Guidelines and the EpiSurv case report form
  • the removal of the information relating to group A Streptococcus (GAS) to focus the chapter on Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF)
  • the contact tracing section has been updated
  • information has been included on the notification of cases and the use of registers.
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