Below are graphs showing patients notified to NSW Health diagnosed with a particular infectious disease. The first graph show the number of patients notified each month over the last 4 and a half years. The second graph shows the age and sex of patients notified in the previous 12 months.
Figure 1 : Disease notifications in NSW reports, by month of disease onset and number of notifications. January 2010 to June 2014.*
Figure 2: Disease notifications in NSW residents by five year age group and number of notifications.*
Name the infectious disease ...
The disease is Ross River fever. Ross River fever is cause by a virus that is transmitted by mosquitoes in many parts of Australia. The risk is highest outside urban areas, especially in rural and coastal areas of NSW. The top graph shows that notifications (and infections) are seasonal peaking in summer and autumn when mosquitos are most active and have the best opportunity for biting into exposed human skin. The bottom graph shows that most notifications are among people in the middle ages, perhaps because adults are more likely that children to complain of symptoms, and once infected, patients develop lifelong immunity.