Mosquito-borne disease risk maps

Many residential areas in Western Australia (WA) are located in close proximity of large and inaccessible natural wetlands or man-made water bodies such as artificial ponds and lakes. 

Many new residential areas are being developed closer to these locations due to aesthetic values of living near water. 

However, residents in such areas pose a greater risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases and intense nuisance problems at certain times of year when mosquitoes disperse from breeding habitat into surrounding suburbs. 

In WA, the mosquito-borne diseases of most public health concern are:
Ross River virus (RRV) disease
Barmah Forest virus (BFV) disease
Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE)
Kunjin disease (KUN).

Based on proximity to known mosquito breeding habitat and historical RRV rates, risk maps have been developed for WA with the following four RRV disease risk categories:
  • frequent high RRV disease risk
  • occasional very high RRV risk
  • frequent high and occasional very high RRV disease risk
  • low or unknown RRV risk.

Frequent high RRV risk

Frequent high RRV Risk indicates locations that experience problems with nuisance and disease carrying mosquitoes in most years.

Localities include:
  • Kununurra
  • Port Hedland
  • Karratha
  • Kalbarri
  • Mundaring
  • Chidlow
  • parts of Cockburn
  • Rockingham and Mandurah
  • Australind
  • Eaton
  • Bunbury
  • parts of Busselton.

Occasional very high RRV risk

Occasional very high RRV risk indicates locations that experience severe problems with nuisance and disease carrying mosquitoes in some years, depending on environmental conditions and other dynamics of the disease transmission cycle.

Localities include:
  • Exmouth
  • Cue
  • Mount Magnet
  • Moora
  • Kalgoorlie
  • Lake Clifton
  • Capel
  • Quindalup
  • Walpole
  • Lower King.

Frequent high and occasional very high RRV disease risk

These locations experience problems with nuisance and disease carrying mosquitoes in most years, and severe disease risk can be experienced in some years depending on environmental conditions.

Localities include:
  • Broome
  • Dampier
  • Kambalda
  • Furnissdale
  • Parklands
  • Stake Hill
  • Falcon
  • Bouvard
  • Herron
  • Leschenault
  • Stratham
  • Peppermint Grove Beach
  • Geographe
  • West Busselton
  • Abbey.

Low or unknown RRV disease risk 

While this location has not experienced elevated rates of RRV disease previously, cases of RRV disease have been reported from almost every region of WA.

Additionally, the sporadic nature of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks and associated environmental conditions that can enhance mosquito breeding means prior experience is not a precise indicator of future mosquito-borne disease risk.

It is also important to note that risk levels indicated here are derived from existing data on rates of RRV disease in Western Australia. Therefore some regions with low or no resident human population may not be classified as high risk due to the fact no cases have been reported there yet, despite an as yet undocumented high disease transmission risk being present in the area. Finally, risk levels indicated here only pertain to health risks and significant mosquito nuisance issues may still be experienced even if no health risk is present.

Other locations not mentioned above fall into this category.

BFV disease also follows a similar pattern to RRV disease risk. Follow MVE and Kunjin diseases to see risk areas for these diseases.

Ross River virus disease risk for all WA

RRV disease risk for all regions

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