Arbovirus Control

The North Coast Public Health Unit (NCPHU) monitors the incidence of arboviruses across the North Coast region through surveillance or laboratory notification of cases of mosquito borne diseases.

The NCPHU supports an active mosquito trapping program which identifies mosquito species and their relative abundance with assistance of local Councils and the NSW Arboviral Surveillance and Mosquito Monitoring Program managed by the University of Sydney’s Medical Entomology Department located at Westmead Hospital.

The NCPHU provides advice to the community about practical measures people can take to protect themselves and their households from mosquito-borne diseases, and issues warnings when required.

The NCPHU monitors the severity of arboviruses throughout the North Coast by conducting follow up investigations of cases in people who contract either Ross River Fever or Barmah Forrest Virus, the two most common arboviral diseases in the region.

Ross River Fever

Ross River Fever is the most widespread arboviral disease on the North Coast.

The virus is transmitted by a number of freshwater and saltwater breeding mosquito species.  Infection may cause a flu-like illness with joint pains, rash and fever. This virus may cause incapacity and inability to work.  Some patients have rheumatic symptoms that persist for up to a year.  Ross River Fever  is not fatal.

For more information about Ross River Fever please see the NSW Health Fact Sheet on Ross River Fever.

Barmah Forest Virus

Barmah Forest Virus is transmitted by a variety of freshwater and saltwater breeding mosquito species and is growing in incidence on the North Coast.

This virus may cause a rash, fever and joint problems.  The rash seems to be more obvious than in Ross River Fever and the joint pains are less of a problem.  The management and prevention of the illness is similar to Ross River Virus.

For more information about Barmah Forest Virus, please see the NSW Health Fact Sheet on Barmah Forest Virus.

Further Information

For information on pests please see the NSW Health website.

Further information on medically important pests can be found on the Department of Medical Entomology at Westmead Hospital website.

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