Territory Stories

The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin



The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin

Other title

Disease Control Bulletin


Territory Health Services, Centre for Disease Control


Northern Territory disease control bulletin; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Northern Territory disease control bulletin






Date:2002-03; This publication contains may contain links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).




Communicable diseases; Reporting; Northern Territory; Statistics; Periodicals

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



Northern Territory disease control bulletin


v. 9 no. 1

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

The Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin Vol 9, No.1, March 2002 24 News from the NT Medical Entomology Branch First published in the Australian Entomological Society News Bulletin, January 2002. There have been a few changes in the branch recently. The most significant is the start of extended leave of Gwenda Hayes, operations manager, in early December prior to embarking on a new career in another area. Gwenda has been in the branch over ten years and progressed from base grade technical assistant to the professional position of operations manager. Gwenda made a tremendous contribution to the branch in all areas, from upgrading and overall organising the reference collection, initiating and developing a fully integrated data base to record and output all programs of the branch, initiating Geographical Information Systems (GIS) procedures, and implementing well organised larval surveillance and control operations and recording systems. She developed well presented tables and graphs for annual reporting and brought intensive branch reports up to a professional standard. She also organised professional presentations for the branch head and trained new recruits in all aspects of medical entomology. She put in 150% all the time, including studying degree courses and undertaking projects that would be of direct benefit to the branch operations. Her initiative, dedication and commitment is a tremendous loss to the branch. We all thank her for all her prodigious contribution and wish her every success in the future. It is a measure of Gwendas skill, knowledge and hard work that she is replaced by three people sharing her duties. Nina Kurucz is now overseeing routine operations, Brett Brogan is looking after public inquiries and development planning comments, while Gisela Lamche is looking after exotic vector operations, with all the surveillance and control operations in the various towns in the NT shared out between the above three. Another temporary addition has been Nancye Turnbull to input a backlog of data into the database. Wet season helicopter surveys and salt marsh control operations in the coastal swamps around Darwin results have been very good so far until late January, with low numbers of saltmarsh mosquitoes in the monitoring traps and no complaints from residential areas. The success in reduced numbers is in part from lower January rainfall and in no small part to the field operations organised by Nina, with great efforts by Jane Carter and Allan Warchot in the field. Jane is also organising GIS recording of the control operations. Nina has also been busy organising the branch annual reports and organising wall presentations for the new health ministers visit to the branch. Peter Whelan has been pursuing efforts with local environmental health officers and others to drain the large effluent/rain influenced Ilparpa swamp in Alice Springs. Native title has been granted to carry out engineering operations and a drainage culvert has been started. Peter and Nina flew to Alice in January to help with a methoprene pellet mosquito control application of the swamp as an interim measure until drainage is completed. The operation was required after extensive flooding rains and a rise in Culex annulirostris mosquito numbers. Over 100 hectares were treated and results to date indicate reduced mosquito problems compared to previous years. Peter has also been presenting various talks including training for new quarantine officers in Darwin and addressing environmental health officers at a disaster management course in November. Peter attended the national Arbovirus Advisory Committee (NAAC) meeting in Canberra in November where exotic vector surveillance and national surveillance for Murray Valley encephalitis virus matters were organised. Gisela Lamche has been appointed as exotic vector entomologist and her duties will include all aspects of surveillance and control of exotic mosquitoes, as well as other operational duties. Gisi has already been in the thick of operations with a risk interception by AQIS of Aedes albopictus in Darwin port area where adults had probably flown on shore. The importation was in cargo from Singapore via Timor. Brett and Gisi fogged the port area and Gisi has successfully bred out a batch of adults with larval skins from the intercepted larvae to clarify larval descriptions of this species.