This report summarises NSW vector-borne disease (VBD) surveillance data for notifiable arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses) and other notifiable arthropod-borne diseases in humans for 2018. The report notes changes in notifications over time and describes likely areas of disease acquisition for both local and exotic infections.

NSW Health undertakes VBD surveillance to monitor VBD trends with the aim of implementing control measures to prevent further illness within the community from endemic local VBDs (such as Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus), and to inform appropriate prevention messages for travellers to areas of the world with exotic vector-borne diseases (such as dengue, chikungunya, malaria and Zika virus).

Key trends in 2018

  • Ross River virus – moderate RRV activity this year following the large RRV outbreak seen in 2016-17. Activity highest in coastal and inland areas of the state known to be endemic for RRV.
  • Chikungunya virus – a marked fall in notifications, reversing the upward trend seen since 2013. Four out of every five notifications were related to travel to India.
  • Dengue virus – a small decrease in notifications compared to the previous year. Infections were acquired in south-east Asia, south Asia and Pacific Island nations.
  • Barmah Forest virus – a decrease in notifications compared to 2017 and continued low activity overall.
  • Malaria – no major changes in notifications; over two thirds of cases were acquired in African countries, including 91% of P. falciparum cases, which was the most common malaria species.
  • Zika virus – there was only one notification, most likely acquired in Vanuatu.

Further information

Further information on notifications for particular vector-borne diseases is available - see the Infectious Diseases Data page and select the condition of interest. Various data filters are available, including date range, age-group, gender and local health district.

Surveillance of VBD infections in humans is supported by local mosquito and sentinel chicken surveillance activities under the NSW arbovirus and vector monitoring surveillance program. Annual arbovirus and vector monitoring surveillance reports are published by the Environmental Health Branch during the arbovirus season (from late spring to early autumn).​​​​

File Size: 675 kb
Type: Report
Date of Publication: 28 June 2019
SHPN: (HP NSW) 190144