Open Access Repository

The quasi-biennial oscillation and Ross River virus incidence in Queensland, Australia

Done, SJ, Holbrook, NJ and Beggs, PJ 2002 , 'The quasi-biennial oscillation and Ross River virus incidence in Queensland, Australia' , International Journal of Biometeorology, vol. 46, no. 4 , pp. 202-207 , doi:

[img] PDF
done.pdf | Request a copy
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


Ross River virus (RRV) is the most important
vector-borne disease in Australia. The National Notifiable
Diseases Surveillance System has confirmed that its
incidence is often greatest in the state of Queensland,
where there is a clear seasonal pattern as well as interannual variability. Previous studies have examined relationships between large-scale climate fluctuations (such
as El Niño Southern Oscillation) and vector-borne disease.
No previous study has examined such relationships
with the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO), another
large-scale climate fluctuation. We employ time-series
analysis techniques to investigate cycles inherent in
monthly RRV incidence in Queensland, Australia, from
January 1991 to December 1997 inclusive. The presence
of a quasi-biennial cycle in the RRV time series that is
out of phase with the climatic QBO is described. Quantitative
analyses using correlograms and periodograms
demonstrate that the quasi-biennial cycle in the RRV
time series is statistically significant, at the 95% level,
above the noise. Together with the seasonal cycle, the
quasi-biennial cycle accounts for 77% of the variance in
Queensland RRV cases. Regression analysis of QBO and
summer rainfall in three climatic zones of Queensland
indicates a significant association between QBO and
rainfall in the subtropical southeastern part of the state.
These results suggest an indirect influence of the QBO
on RRV incidence in Queensland, via its influence on
climate in this region. Our findings indicate that the
QBO may be a useful predictor of RRV at several
months lead, and might be used by public health authorities
in the management and prevention of this disease.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Done, SJ and Holbrook, NJ and Beggs, PJ
Keywords: Ross River virus · Vector-borne disease · Quasi-Biennial Oscillation · Climate · Queensland
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Biometeorology
DOI / ID Number:
Additional Information:

The original publication is available at

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page