Increased activity of the mosquito-borne Barmah Forest virus
The mosquito and arbovirus surveillance program undertaken by the Department of Health has detected ongoing activity of Barmah Forest virus (BFV) in mosquito populations in the southwest of Western Australia. BFV has been detected in 16 pools of mosquitoes collected in the Peel and Leschenault regions between August and October 2017.
However, notified human cases of BFV in the region have remained low with just one case in the Leschenault region in September and one case in the Peel region in October.
In contrast, while Ross River virus (RRV) has not been detected in mosquito populations in the southwest, there have been six human cases notified in the Leschenault region and 16 in the Peel region between August and October 2017.
Mosquito numbers in coastal areas of the south-west are increasing due to the recent warmer spring weather and the Department of Health wishes to remind general practitioners to request testing for both RRV and BFV for any patients presenting with symptoms to ensure all cases are recognised and reported. This will assist with defining high risk areas of the south-west so that vector mosquito populations in those areas are appropriately managed.
If you would like further information on mosquito-borne disease in WA, please contact Medical Entomology