NSW Health is reminding people to protect themselves from mosquitoes when they are out and about during the summer holidays.
NSW Health’s Acting Director of Environmental Health, Paul Byleveld, said with more people spending time outdoors, it was important to take steps to reduce mosquito bite risk.
“Mosquitoes thrive in wet, warm conditions like those that much of NSW is experiencing,” Mr Byleveld said.
“Mosquitoes in NSW can carry viruses such as Japanese encephalitis (JE), Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE), Kunjin, Ross River and Barmah Forest. The viruses may cause serious diseases with symptoms ranging from tiredness, rash, headache and sore and swollen joints to rare but severe symptoms of seizures and loss of consciousness.”
“People should take extra care to protect themselves against mosquito bites and mosquito-borne disease, particularly after the detection of JE in a sentinel chicken in Far Western NSW.”
The NSW Health sentinel chicken program provides early warning about the presence of serious mosquito borne diseases, like JE. Routine testing in late December revealed a positive result for JE in a sample from Menindee.
A free vaccine to protect against JE infection is available to those at highest risk in NSW and people can check their eligibility at Japanese encephalitis vaccination.
People are encouraged to take actions to prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of acquiring a mosquito-borne virus by:
Remember, Spray Up – Cover Up – Screen Up, to protect from mosquito bite. For more information go to: Mosquito borne diseases.