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The Metro South Public Health Unit is one of thirteen Public Health Units across Queensland. Our primary role is to enhance the health of our entire community by preventing the spread of disease, managing environmental risks and advocating for a safer society.
Our focus is on how society can maximise their health and wellbing - what people can do for themselves as well as the role of other organisations to ensure good health in our community, as well as a safe environment.
Our team is made up of public health doctors, environmental health officers, public health nurses, epidemiologists, public health officers, contact tracers, administration officers and investigators. Each team member is integral to the overall success of our unit and this was evidenced during our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, measles outbreak and flood events.
We use a range of evidence-based, targeted programs to keep our communities healthy and safe.
These public health matters include:
Through health promotion and early detection, together we can empower better health within our community.
Communicable diseases are diseases that can spread from person to person. Most people will have a communicable disease in their lifetime.
While the majority of communicable diseases are mild and only last for a few days, some cases can be much more serious.
It is important that steps are taken to help monitor, prevent and respond to communicable diseases in our community, including contact tracing when required.
Contact tracing is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to someone who has been infected with the virus to prevent it spreading further through the community. It is an important tool for controlling the spread of the virus.
Contact tracing is also used to control the spread of other infectious illnesses such as meningococcal disease, tuberculosis and sexually transmissible infections and blood-borne viruses.
Our unit provides the following advice and support to individuals and businesses, in line with the Public Health Act 2005:
If you have a question about a communicable disease, contact Queensland Health or speak to your doctor.
Environmental health hazards such as water, air pollution, animals, extreme weather or chemical exposures can affect our health.
Our Environmental Health Unit is a branch of public health that focuses on protecting and promoting the health and wellbeing of individuals and our community, through preventing illness and injury that arises from environmental health hazards. These hazards can include physical, chemical, biological and social environmental factors, such as:
We achieve this work through:
For more information on environmental hazards, or if you would like to report an issue, visit Industry and environmental health at Queensland Health.
Queensland has strict regulations and standards for the food industry to ensure that food sold in Queensland is safe, suitable and correctly labelled – whether local or imported.
To help ensure these regulations and standards are met under under the Food Act 1984, we work collaboratively with other organisations, to help ensure:
If you have a complaint or issue in relation to food being sold in the Metro South Region, please contact Queensland Government.
Everyone will visit their doctor or hospital in their lifetime, but these visits can be reduced by taking care of our own health on a day-to-day basis.
Health promotion aims to engage and empower individuals and communities to lead healthier lifestyles every day to reduce the risk of illness, disease and other injuries.
To support health promotion, our unit provides advice and guidance to our community about:
Immunisation is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting people against harmful diseases before they come into contact with them.
Immunisation protects both individuals and other community members by reducing the spread of preventable diseases.
Our unit coordinates immunisation programs locally in Metro South Health in collaboration with general practices, schools, hospitals and other organisations to ensure our community has safe and easy access to vaccines, when and where they need it.
For the latest immunisation program view Immunisation at Queensland Health.
Major public health incidents may arise from natural disasters, disease outbreaks, criminal acts, bioterrorism and environmental or food contamination. When these public health events occur, Queensland Health is at the forefront for planning, response and recovery.
Our Unit operates under a range of legislation and policies to ensure effective risk management is in place at a local level, helping to maximise saving lives, protecting people and make an affected area safe again.
This work is achieved in close relationship with government counterparts (particularly local Councils) and the public to assist them on the ground, if and when required.
Our duties include, but are not limited to:
To keep up-to-date with the latest public health alerts and warnings, visit:
If you are recovering from an event, you can find a wide range of health resources at Queensland Health - Health and wellbeing for disaster recovery.
Medical Entomology, a sub-branch of the public health unit, focuses on the study of arthropods and insects (particularly mosquitoes) that can cause disease in humans.
Queensland is home to a variety of mosquito species, while they are mostly found in wetland environments, some live and breed in our own backyards. These little insects can be capable of transmitting viruses and infections, ranging from mild to fatal health outcomes.
Our Unit is committed to supporting our community’s safety by helping to identify and reduce the risk posed by mosquitoes.
Our work is achieved through: