Health Department: Take action to guard against Murray Valley Encephalitis

North West Telegraph
There has been widespread detection of the mosquito-borne Murray Valley encephalitis and Kunjin viruses in the Pilbara.
Camera IconThere has been widespread detection of the mosquito-borne Murray Valley encephalitis and Kunjin viruses in the Pilbara.

The Department of Health has warned Pilbara and Kimberley residents to take additional precautions to avoid mosquito bites following continued detection of Murray Valley Encephalitis virus.

Evidence of the virus has been detected from the sentinel chicken surveillance program coordinated by the Department of Health, PathWest and local governments to provide early warning of virus activity.

Initial symptoms of MVE include fever, drowsiness, headache, stiff neck, nausea and dizziness.

People experiencing these symptoms should immediately seek medical advice.

In severe cases, people may experience fits, lapse into a coma or be left with permanent brain damage or die.

In order to mitigate the risk of exposure the public should avoid being outdoors at dawn and early evening, wear protective clothing when outdoors, apply effects personal repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) or picaridin to exposed skin.

Additional measures could include removing water holding containers from around the home and garden, using mosquito coils and lanters and apply barrier sprays containing bifenthrin in outdoor areas.

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