Mosquito-borne diseases

What are mosquito-borne diseases?

Mosquitoes can act as vectors (transmitters) of diseases because the adult female will seek out repeated blood meals to mature successive egg batches throughout her life.

Female mosquitoes can pick up viruses and pathogens from one vertebrate animal (host) and pass them on to another host in subsequent blood feeds.

These pathogens and viruses can replicate (multiply) in both host (including humans) and mosquitoes.

Humans can only be infected from the bite of an infective female mosquito and cannot become infected by direct contact with another human or animal.

What mosquito-borne diseases are in Western Australia? 

In Western Australia (WA), the mosquito-borne diseases of most public health concern are:

How are these diseases transmitted? 

In nature, RRV, BFV, MVE and KUN diseases are passed back and forth between wildlife and some species (types) of mosquitoes. Humans can only catch these diseases through the bite of an infected mosquito. 

Other common diseases spread by mosquitoes but are NOT in WA?

  • dengue
  • malaria
  • chikungunya
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • yellow fever 

Local transmission of dengue, malaria, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever do not currently occur in WA. This is because the mosquitoes that transmit these diseases are not currently present in WA. However, these diseases may be contracted while travelling overseas. (see Prevent mosquito-borne disease on holiday overseas (Healthy WA)).

More information

Medical Entomology
Postal address: PO BOX 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
Street Address: 1A, Brockway Road, Claremont, WA 6010
Phone: (08) 9285 5500
Email: medical.entomology@health.wa.gov.au