Simple steps to avoid mosquito bites
With increased mosquito activity in locations around the state, it is recommended that you take some simple steps to avoid mosquito bites.
See latest information:
20 March 2012 - Mosquito-borne disease threat continues across WA
The mosquito-borne diseases which are of concern in WA are:
- Ross River virus (RRV) disease
- Barmah Forest virus (BFV) disease
- Kunjin virus disease
- Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE)
These diseases are caused by viruses which are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. They cannot be caught by direct contact with another person or animal.
Dengue fever and malaria are not currently transmitted in WA.
Symptoms of RRV and BFV diseases can be debilitating and may include:
- painful and/or swollen joints
- sore muscles
- aching tendons
- skin rashes
- swollen lymph nodes
Symptoms of MVE and Kunjin virus disease can be severe and may include:
- bad headache
- stiff neck
- nausea and vomiting
- muscle tremors
People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical advice quickly. In severe cases, people may experience fits, lapse into a coma, and could be left with permanent brain damage or die.
In young children, fever might be the only early sign of illness. If your child is unwell, you should seek medical advice – particularly if your child experiences drowsiness, floppiness, irritability, poor feeding, or general distress.
How to avoid mosquito bites:
- avoid areas of high mosquito activity, especially around dawn, dusk and the first few hours after sunset
- wear long, loose-fitting, light coloured or protective clothing when outdoors
- apply a personal repellent containing diethyl toluamide (DEET) or picaridin to exposed skin or clothing. The most effective and long-lasting formulations are lotions or gels. Most natural or organic repellents are not as effective as DEET or picaridin or need to be reapplied more frequently
- ensure insect screens are installed and completely mosquito-proof by using mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents
- ensure infants and children are adequately protected against mosquito bites, preferably with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening
- help reduce RRV and BFV risks in your community by ensuring mosquitoes are not breeding around your home or work place.
Fact sheets (fact sheets to open in a new window)
- Murray Valley Encephalitis and Kunjin Virus in WA (PDF 216KB)
- Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus in WA (PDF 191KB)
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