Indicators at a glance - Border Health

This section summarises the latest Environmental Health Indicators about border health in New Zealand.

Summary

New Zealand health is affected by exotic diseases which cross our international borders. Border health indicators monitor overseas threats to our health and their impacts in New Zealand.

Indicator Key findings
Overseas infectious diseases of priority concern
  • The number of international diseases of border health concern to New Zealand increased during 2011-15.
  • Polio and Ebola Virus Disease were each alerted as a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’, by the World Health Organization, during both 2014 and 2015.
  • Four types of serious respiratory virus were reported, 2011-15. Outbreaks in Asia included human cases of Bird Flu and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. There were no cases reported in the Pacific region.
  • Mosquito-borne diseases spread internationally, including among Pacific nations, 2011-15.
Border health in New Zealand
  • There were no cases of any ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’, or severe respiratory disease of priority border health concern, in New Zealand, 2011-15.
  • Cases of mosquito-borne diseases more than doubled in New Zealand, 2011-15. Dengue Fever was most commonly diagnosed during this period.
  • Almost all mosquito-borne diseases were diagnosed after cases had travelled overseas, often within the Asia-Pacific region.
  • There were age, gender, ethnic and regional differences in who acquired these diseases.
High-risk pests caught at New Zealand’s border
  • On average, there were nine border interceptions each year of exotic mosquitoes originating from overseas, 2006-15. Most interceptions (>80%) occurred in Auckland.
  • Fifteen types of high-risk mosquito species of public health concern were caught, 2006-15.
  • Most (73%) of suspected intercepted mosquitoes originated from the Asia-Pacific region.  Australia was by far the biggest source.
  • Most suspected mosquitoes came by sea and among general cargo.
Exotic Mosquito species established in New Zealand
  • No new exotic mosquitoes were introduced to New Zealand between 2006 and 2015.
  • As of 2015, there are three long-established exotic mosquito species in New Zealand.
  • The Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito (Aedes camptorhyncus) - first reported to be living in New Zealand in 1998 - was eradicated in 2010.