Mos­quito alert for re­gion

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

Pil­bara res­i­dents are be­ing warned to take pre­cau­tions against mos­quito and march fly bites af­ter the heavy rains of the last few weeks.

The Depart­ment of Health has warned of a pos­si­ble in­crease in rates of mos­quito-borne diseases Ross River virus, Barmah For­est virus, Mur­ray Val­ley en­cephali­tis virus and Kun­jin virus af­ter the re­cent wet weather in much of WA, in­clud­ing the Pil­bara.

Kun­jin virus was re­cently de­tected in a sen­tinel chicken flock in the re­gion and an in­crease in march fly num­bers has also been re­ported.

DoH manag­ing sci­en­tist of en­vi­ron­men­tal health haz­ards Michael Lind­say said that had cre­ated ideal con­di­tions for mos­qui­toes and other bit­ing in­sects.

“There are no spe­cific cures or vac­cines for mos­quito-borne diseases in WA, so it is very im­por­tant that peo­ple take care to pre­vent be­ing bit­ten,” he said.

Dr Lind­say said for most peo­ple the diseases’ symp­toms were “fairly mild” headache, fever, fa­tigue, aching, swollen joints and skin rash but in rare cases some could cause in­flam­ma­tion of the brain and lead to long-term dis­abil­ity or death.

DoH ad­vised peo­ple to avoid be­ing out­doors at dawn and dusk, wear pro­tec­tive cloth­ing, use in­sect re­pel­lent and drain or mon­i­tor­ing sources of stag­nant wa­ter.

For more in­for­ma­tion -go to­thebite.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Perera

Sue Du­ley and Leah Richard­son are tak­ing pre­cau­tions against an in­crease in mos­quito and march fly num­bers in the Pil­bara.

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