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.
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