Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering

First Advisor

Dr Catherine Comiskey

Second Advisor

Associate Professor James Cross

Third Advisor

Dr Malcolm Anderson


Ross River virus is one of the most severe communicable diseases in Australia. During the 1995/96 outbreak of Ross River virus in south-western Australia, over 1 ,300 human cases were reported. Since the symptoms of the disease are sometimes too weak to be diagnosed, it is important to determine the number of humans who actually contracted the virus during outbreaks. To do this, several mathematical models with different hypotheses are constructed and analysed mathematically. The threshold mathematical conditions of these models suggest that as well as the size of the vector mosquito population, the population size and length of viraemia periods; of host populations and the infection rates between the hosts and vectors play the main roles in the transmission. Several parameters in the transmission are currently unknown, so only simple models of RRV transmission are computer-simulated. Some of the unknown parameters are extrapolated from published studies of other arboviruses. The sensitivities of the models to some of the unknown parameters are also examined. Simulation results indicate the sero-conversion rates and ratios of clinical to subclinical human infections during the outbreaks which occurred in the Peel and Leschenault districts in Southwestern Australia.