Kunjin infection is caused by Kunjin virus that is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes.
Most people with Kunjin virus infection do not have symptoms. Some people may have symptoms such as:
If you get these symptoms, contact a doctor right away, or Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or in an emergency call Triple Zero (000) or visit your nearest emergency department.
Some people who get a severe infection may have lifelong neurological complications or even death.
Kunjin virus is spread when a mosquito bites an infected animal (waterbirds and horses) and then this mosquito bites a person. The mosquito is especially common around the Murray Darling River basin areas in NSW during summer and into autumn.
People working, living or visiting areas of rural NSW where there are rivers, wetlands, flooded areas or heavily irrigated areas.
There is currently no vaccine against Kunjin virus infection. The best way to avoid the virus is to not get bitten by mosquitoes. Protect yourself:
If you have the symptoms listed above, a doctor may run a blood test to find you have antibodies to Kunjin virus. Blood samples are taken when you have symptoms and then again two weeks later. This will check to see if there has been a change in the antibody levels.
There is no specific treatment available for Kunjin virus infection. Some people with Kunjin virus infection will require treatment in hospital, sometimes in intensive care.
When laboratories confirm Kunjin virus infection, they notify their local public health unit. Public health units follow up on each case to work out where the person got the infection and assess if there is an ongoing public health risk.