Kunjin virus disease is a viral infection affecting horses in mainland Australia and Papua New Guinea. The disease is caused by a flavivirus (Kunjin virus), which is closely related to West Nile virus which affects horses living in North America, Africa, and Europe. Kunjin virus has caused outbreaks of neurologic disease in horses. In 2011, more than 1000 horses were affected by an outbreak that occurred in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland.
How Kunjin Virus is Spread
Kunjin virus is spread from bites from the common banded mosquito, Culex annulirostris. This mosquito breeds in fresh water and tends to be found in spring, summer and autumn around natural wetlands and irrigation waters. The mosquito is especially common around the Murray Darling River basin areas in NSW during summer and into autumn. This mosquito tends to be most active after sunset and around dawn.
There is no specific treatment available for horses with Kunjin virus disease.