Remembering the curves
previous Victorian epidemics
Epidemics have been recorded in Victoria since the first years of European settlement. Smallpox, influenza, polio, scarlet fever, diphtheria, measles, tuberculosis, whooping cough, HIV and now COVID-19 have all impacted the health, wellbeing and lives of Victorians.
Our approaches to overcoming previous epidemics and pandemics have paved the way for some of the research work and public health measures being implemented for the COVID-19 pandemic today.
A bacterial disease caused by Vibrio cholerae, cholera is contracted through contaminated food and water, and is closely linked to lack of clean water and poor sanitation. However strong quarantine measures meant it never reached epidemic status in Victoria.
A bacterial disease caused by Salmonella typhi, typhoid is usually spread by contaminated drinking water and food. Outbreaks were common in Victoria from the first years of European settlement.
A bacterial respiratory infection that can cause severe coughing to the extent of vomiting. Whooping cough effects very young children severely and can cause death. It is effectively prevented by vaccination, and outbreaks in recent years are associated with low vaccination rates.