NSW Health can confirm two people with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) are currently being treated in hospital and is continuing to urge the public to be vigilant and safeguard themselves against mosquito bites.
Both people are residents of the NSW-Victoria border region – a man from the Corowa area and a child from the Wentworth area in the far south west of NSW. They are both currently being treated in hospitals in Victoria.
The man remains in a serious condition in ICU. The child has been discharged from ICU but continues to receive hospital care due to the serious nature of their illness.
Several more people in NSW are undergoing further testing, and more cases are expected to be confirmed over the coming days and weeks.
JEV is a viral illness spread by mosquitoes. It can infect animals and humans and has been confirmed in samples from a number of pig farms in regional NSW.
The virus cannot be transmitted between humans, and it cannot be caught by eating pork or pig products. Locally acquired cases of JEV have never previously been identified in NSW in animals or humans.
Mosquito control activities are being carried out in the vicinity of farms where pigs are confirmed to have been infected by JEV and NSW Health is arranging vaccination of workers on affected farms.
There is no specific treatment for JEV, which can cause severe neurological illness with headache, convulsions and reduced consciousness in some cases.
Dr Marianne Gale, NSW Health Acting Chief Health Officer, said the best thing people throughout the state can do to protect themselves and their families against JEV is to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
“We are working closely with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and other states and territories to determine the extent to which the virus is circulating,” Dr Gale said.
‘Unfortunately, our recent wet weather has led to very high mosquito numbers, so we need the community to be particularly vigilant and take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
“We know mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn, and we need people planning activities near waterways or where mosquitoes are present to be especially cautious, particularly those in the vicinity of the Murray River and its branches.”
Simple actions you can take to avoid mosquito bites include:
For further information on mosquito-borne disease and ways to protect yourself go to
Vector borne disease resources.
Fact sheets on specific mosquito-borne diseases, including Japanese encephalitis Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus, are available at
Vector borne disease fact sheets.