Murray Valley encephalitis alert issued for the Pilbara

Pilbara News
Camera IconMosquito Credit: Emphyrio/Pixabay (user Emphyrio)

Pilbara residents and those travelling up north are being warned to protect themselves against mosquito bites, after the discovery of Murray Valley encephalitis in the region.

WA’s Department of Health uncovered the virus through mosquito sampling in the Pilbara, which previously detected the virus in other areas of the Kimberley.

Department of Health managing scientist Dr Andrew Jardine said the presence of the virus in the northern regions is typical for this time of year, and members of the community and visitors should take precautions to reduce the likelihood of infection.

“Thankfully, we’ve not had any community members contract MVE, but it’s best to remain alert,” he said.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


Symptoms include fever, drowsiness, headache, stiff neck, and dizziness.

Although the risk of being infected is relatively low, the illness caused by Murray Valley encephalitis can be severe and in some cases fatal.

Dr Jardine warns that infected children might initially only present with a fever, but parents should take their child to hospital if they additionally develop drowsiness or general distress.

Wearing loose, protective clothing and not going outdoors at dawn and early evening can help people avoid mosquito bites.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails