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Protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases

Protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases

Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) has been detected in Northern Victoria, for the first time in more than 10 years.

Swan Hill Rural City Council’s Public Health and Regulatory Services Coordinator, Kelsey Corrie said MVE can cause a rare, but potentially serious infection of the central nervous system and is spread to humans from infected mosquitoes.

“The virus is endemic to Northern Australia and hasn’t been detected in mosquitoes in Northern Victoria since 2011. The last human case recorded in Northern Victoria was in 1974 following significant flooding.

“Symptoms include fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches, although most people who are infected do not have any symptoms. Serious illness can cause meningitis or encephalitis, which can cause death or long term neurological complications – anyone with symptoms should seek urgent medical care,” she said.

Ms Corrie said that the risk of mosquito borne disease is particularly high this season, and residents are urged to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

“The best prevention of disease is to protect yourself, your family and your homes from mosquitoes.

“Cover up with light long sleeve clothing, wearing a picardin or DEET based mosquito repellent and checking that your fly screens are secure.

“Remove potential breeding sites around your home by regularly emptying garden pot trays, replacing water in dog bowls, and fitting a fly wire screen over any water tanks in your yard.

“Mosquito coils are a great option to reduce mosquitoes, if you are outdoors,” she said.

Ms Corrie said Council was part of the Victorian Government mosquito surveillance program which includes setting traps in specific areas weekly for mosquitoes.

“Mosquitoes that are trapped are sent to Melbourne for identification and testing for disease. The surveillance program provides early detection for potential mosquito borne disease.

“Council’s Authorised Officers are conducting larval and adult mosquito treatment in high traffic locations around the municipality and they are also treating mosquito larvae in stagnant water sources.

“Treating the larvae prevents them from developing into adult mosquitoes and is the most effective treatment.

“Adult fogging and spraying is also occurring in high population locations such as parks, playgrounds and public events to temporarily reduce the number of adult mosquitoes, Ms Corrie said.

Ms Corrie said there was currently no vaccination against MV.but reminded residents that Council was still offering Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination.

“Council is running immunisation next sessions on Wednesday, 1 and Thursday, 2 February,” she said.

For more information or to book a vaccination session, please visit www.swanhill.vic.gov.au/immunisations or call 03 5036 2591.
Japanese Encephalitis immunization sessions

Wednesday, 2 February and Thursday, 3 February

Morning session
Anglican Church – 46 Splatt Street
Appointments from 2pm-5pm

Afternoon session
Anglican Church – 46 Splatt Street
Appointments from 9am-1pm

To book a vaccination session, please visit www.swanhill.vic.gov.au/immunisations or call 03 5036 2591.