Arboviral diseases and malaria in Australia, 2014-15: annual report of the National Arbovirus and Malaria Advisory Committee.
This report describes the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases of public health importance in Australia during the 2014-15 season (1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015) and includes data from human notifications, sentinel chicken, vector and virus surveillance programs. The National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System received notifications for 12,849 cases of disease transmitted by mosquitoes during the 2014-15 season. The Australasian a lphaviruses Barmah Forest virus and Ross River virus accounted for 83% (n=10,723) of notifications. However, over-diagnosis and possible false positive diagnostic test results for these two infections mean that the true burden of infection is likely over-estimated, and as a consequence, revised case definitions were implemented from 1 January 2016. There were 151 notifications of imported chikungunya virus infection. There were 74 notifications of dengue virus infection acquired in Australia and 1,592 cases acquired overseas, with an additional 34 cases for which the place of acquisition was unknown. Imported cases of dengue were most frequently acquired in Indonesia (66%). There were 7 notifications of Zika virus infection. No cases of locally-acquired malaria were notified during the 2014-15 season, though there were 259 notifications of overseas-acquired malaria and one notification for which no information on the place of acquisition was supplied. Imported cases of malaria were most frequently acquired in southern and eastern Africa (23%) and Pacific Island countries (20%). In 2014-15, arbovirus and mosquito surveillance programs were conducted in most of the states and territories. Surveillance for exotic mosquitoes at international ports of entry continues to be a vital part of preventing the establishment of vectors of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue to new areas of Australia. In 2014-15, there was a sharp increase in the number of exotic mosquitoes detected at the Australian border, with 36 separate exotic mosquito detections made, representing a 280% increase from the 2013-14 period where there were 13 exotic mosquito detections.