West Nile virus in Australia


West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito borne virus belonging to the genus Flavivirus. A strain of WNV, Kunjin virus (WNVKUN) is endemic in parts of Australia and has been present for many years.

WNV is found across all continents except Antarctica. In Australia, WNVKUN has been infrequently associated with disease in humans. In 2011, there was a large outbreak of neurological disease in horses in South East Australia caused by a variant of the Australian strain WNVKUN.

West Nile virus infection was confirmed in a horse from the Central  West region in February 2017, with further infections confirmed in the Hunter and Riverina regions in February 2022.

Topics covered by this Primefact include:

  • Signs of West Nile virus
  • how, when and where the virus spreads
  • diagnosis of West Nile virus in horses
  • treatment and prevention of West Nile infection in animals
  • how to notify West Nile infection in animals.


Primefact RDOC22/16229 Second Edition

Published: Feb 2022