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Murray Valley Encephalitis

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The Murray Valley encephalitis virus was first isolated in an epidemic in 1951. In 1974, the only Australia-wide outbreak occurred, involving 58 cases of encephalitis and resulting in about 20% of cases dying. The virus is endemic in Northern Australia but rarely affects humans.

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The Murray Valley encephalitis virus was first isolated in an epidemic in 1951. Earlier epidemics in 1917 (114 cases), 1918 (67 cases) and 1925 (10 cases) were probably also due to the virus. In 1974, the only Australia-wide outbreak occurred, involving 58 cases of encephalitis and resulting in about 20% of cases dying. Since then, there have been very few cases. The virus is endemic in Northern Australia (northern Western Australia and the top of the Northern Territory), but rarely affects humans. The occasional spread to the southern states occurs during times of heavy rainfall during the summer monsoon season via seasonal flooding of the Murray-Darling river system.

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Meet the educator

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Phillip Petersen
Phillip Petersen, BSc, FASM, has operated a writing and editing business for over twenty years. This follows a career as a microbiologist in hospitals and a pathology laboratory for over thirty years, during which he was also involved with the development and implementation of microbiology courses at Queensland University of Technology. He also conducted research on the in vitro study of infection and has had articles published as well as reference books on the diagnosis and management of infectious diseases and on antibiotics. Phillip ranks his greatest achievement as materially assisting several higher degree students and researchers to reach their goals.
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Lucille Nepomuceno
21 May 2021
My knowledge was fully reinforced! Great one!
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Chloe Cain
16 Apr 2022
Short but informative
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DAVID CUNNINGHAM
02 Nov 2020
Succinct, informative article of little known disease and disease process.
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19 Jul 2021
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