Public Health Surveillance: monitoring the health of communities

Public health surveillance is the ongoing and systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data on specific health events. It is used to plan, implement and evaluate public health programmes.

General practitioners provide data and notifications on a variety of diseases, including notifiable diseases, influenza-like illness (ILI) and some respiratory illnesses.

Community and Public Health’s Surveillance Unit analyses this data and produces surveillance reports on:

  • notifiable diseases throughout the year (weekly and monthly);
  • viral respiratory diseases from May to October each year (weekly); and
  • epidemics or outbreaks of specific diseases as they occur or progress.


Contact the Surveillance Unit at Community and Public Health for more information:

Ph: +64 3 364 1777
Fax: +64 3 379 6484

Flu SurveillanceNew ‘flu dashboard’ show rates and severity of disease

ESR media release: 9th May 2018
ESR health scientists have launched a new “dashboard”, providing up-to-date information on how influenza is tracking as well as its severity.

The new “one stop shop” is a first for flu surveillance, and will on a near real-time basis give a measure of the impact of the flu through the season.

ESR manages the national influenza surveillance programme on behalf of the Ministry of Health, and says the dashboard has been developed to help the health sector’s management of the flu.

The dashboard is aimed at health professionals, and will also provide a guide to members of the public who want to find out how flu is tracking through the season.

The ESR dashboard includes information on flu activity, flu severity and which viruses are circulating this season. This information is gathered as part of the national influenza surveillance programme from a range of sources including laboratories, intensive care units, emergency departments, GPs and Healthline.

Reports on Infectious or Notifiable Diseases

Community and Public Health has produced various detailed reports on communicable diseases in Canterbury and other South Island districts including on:

  • campylobacteriosis;
  • hepatitis A outbreaks;
  • whooping cough/ pertussis such as the epidemic from 2011 to 2014; and
  • occupationally acquired communicable diseases such as enteric diseases in South Canterbury meat workers and farmers.


The Public Health Information Quarterly (PHIQ) is written for GPs and practice nurses. This newsletter contains highlights and analysis on:

  • communicable and notifiable diseases during the previous three months; and
  • other communicable disease issues of public health significance for primary care.


Page last updated: 09/05/2018

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