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
  • Polio has remained a PHEIC since first declared in 2014.
  • Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo declared a PHEIC July 2019. This is the second time WHO has declared Ebola a PHEIC; the first declaration in West Africa lasted from 2014–16.
  • WHO lifted the Zika PHIEC in 2016.
  • Two types of severe respiratory virus were reported, 2014–18.
  • Dengue was present in eight Pacific Island countries and territories in 2018
Border health in New Zealand
  • Zika declared a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ in 2016.
  • 99 cases of Zika were imported into New Zealand in 2016 and there was one locally acquired sexually transmitted case.
  • In 2016 New Zealand  recorded its highest total for all reported cases of mosquito-borne diseases since 2001.
  • 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 exotic diseases.
High-risk pests caught at New Zealand’s border
  • In 2018, there were 17 interceptions containing mosquitoes of overseas origin.
  • Twenty species of high-risk mosquito species of public health concern were caught between 2009–2018. Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes vexans were the most commonly intercepted species.
  • Forty-four percent of interceptions of overseas origin originated from the Pacific region between 2009–2018. Australia was the most common country of origin.
  • Thirty-nine percent of mosquito interceptions of overseas origin were discovered among ‘other cargo’ (eg, household goods, shipping containers—contents not specified) between 2009–2018go
Exotic Mosquito species established in New Zealand
  • No new exotic mosquitoes were introduced to New Zealand between 2009 and 2018.
  • As of 2018, 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.
  • In 2018 Culex sitiens was detected in Kaipara Harbour through the National Salt
    marsh mosquito surveillance programme.
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