Spatial and temporal patterns of Ross River virus in Queensland, 2001–2020

Wei Qian, Cameron Hurst, Kathryn Glass, David Harley, Elvina Viennet

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Ross River virus (RRV), the most common human arbovirus infection in Australia, causes significant morbidity and substantial medical costs. About half of Australian cases occur in Queens-land. We describe the spatial and temporal patterns of RRV disease in Queensland over the past two decades. RRV notifications, human population data, and weather data from 2001 to 2020 were analysed by the Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) area. Spatial interpolation or linear extrapolation were used for missing weather values and the estimated population in 2020, respectively. Notifications and incidence rates were analysed through space and time. During the study period, there were 43,699 notifications in Queensland. The highest annual number of notifications was recorded in 2015 (6182), followed by 2020 (3160). The average annual incidence rate was 5 per 10,000 people and the peak period for RRV notifications was March to May. Generally, SA2 areas in northern Queensland had higher numbers of notifications and higher incidence rates than SA2 areas in southern Queens-land. The SA2 areas with high incidence rates were in east coastal areas and western Queensland. The timely prediction may aid disease prevention and routine vector control programs, and RRV management plans are important for these areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number145
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


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