18-03 Warning of increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases

Warning of increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases

18-03 Warning of increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, in partnership with the Department of Health, is warning residents and visitors to take additional precautions to avoid mosquito bites over the coming weeks.
 
Recent above average rainfall has led to the presence of standing water in the region, creating ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.
 
City CEO, John Walker, said that as mosquito numbers were expected to rise in coming weeks, there was potential for a substantial increase in the activity of mosquito-borne viruses, in particular Ross River virus.
 
“Ross River virus can cause illness lasting for weeks or months, and include painful or swollen joints, sore muscles, skin rashes, fever, fatigue and headaches,” he said.
 
“The only way to diagnose this and other mosquito-borne viruses is by visiting a doctor and having a specific blood test.”
 
“The City is currently carrying out surveillance and larviciding of water bodies to help reduce mosquito numbers. However we encourage residents to check their own backyards for any containers that are holding water and change the water every week to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching. Introducing fish to water bodies such as ornamental ponds, and ensuring chlorine is maintained in pools or spas are great solutions in reducing mosquito numbers around the home.”
 
Given there is no vaccine or specific cure, the only way to prevent infection with a mosquito-borne disease is to avoid being bitten.
‘Fight the Bite’ when outdoors by taking these simple steps:
  • avoid outdoor exposure around dawn and early evening
  • wear protective (long, loose-fitting, light-coloured) clothing when outdoors
  • apply an effective personal repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) or picaridin to exposed skin or clothing and always follow the label instructions
  • use mosquito coils and mosquito lanterns and apply barrier sprays containing bifenthrin in patio and outdoor areas around the home
  • ensure insect screens are installed and in good condition on houses and caravans
  • use mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents when camping
  • ensure infants and children are adequately protected against mosquito bites, preferably with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening.
 
  For more information about mosquito prevention visit www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/FighttheBite