Epidemiology and Infection
Volume 140, Issue 2
Alphavirus Infections--epidemiology; Culicidae--physiology; Insect Vectors--physiology; Ross River virus--physiology
In Australia, Ross River virus (RRV) is predominantly identiﬁed and managed through passive health surveillance. Here, the proactive use of environmental datasets to improve community-scale public health interventions in southeastern Tasmania is explored. Known environmental drivers (temperature, rainfall, tide) of the RRV vector Aedes camptorhynchus are analysed against cumulative case records for ﬁve adjacent local government areas (LGAs) from 1993 to 2009. Allowing for a 0- to 3-month lag period, temperature was the most signiﬁcant driver of RRV cases at 1-month lag, contributing to a 23. 2% increase in cases above the long-term case average. The potential for RRV to become an emerging public health issue in Tasmania due to projected climate changes is discussed. Moreover, practical outputs from this research are proposed including the development of an early warning system for local councils to implement preventative measures, such as public outreach and mosquito spray programmes.
Werner, A.K., Goater, S., Carver, S., Robertson, G., Allen, G.R., Weinstein, P. (2012). Environmental drivers of Ross River virus in southeastern Tasmania, Australia: Towards strengthening public health interventions. Epidemiology and Infection, 140(2), 359-371.