Mosquitoes can give people serious diseases like Ross River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus and Murray Valley Encephalitis. Follow these 4 simple steps to protect your family from mosquito bites this summer:
- Try and avoid areas where mosquitoes are common, like swamps and marshlands.
- Wear loose, long and light coloured clothing, especially around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear mosquito repellent. Use brands that contain either DEET or Picaridin, apply to all uncovered skin and follow the label directions.
- Get rid of mosquitoes around the house by using plugin insecticide mats, flying insect knock-down sprays and fly screens. Remove any water-holding containers outside the house where mosquitoes could breed.
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Japanese encephalitis is a rare but potentially very serious life threatening infection of the brain caused by a virus that can be spread to humans by mosquitoes. The virus has been recently detected in Victoria and NSW, including Corowa. People in affected areas who are exposed to mosquito bites may be at risk of infection.
People should be particularly vigilant given the recent wet weather conditions, which have led to very high mosquito numbers that may increase further in the coming days and weeks.
Some simple tips to limit your exposure to mosquitoes include:
- Avoid going outdoors during peak mosquito times, especially at dawn and dusk.
- Wear long sleeves and pants outdoors (reduce skin exposure). Also wear shoes and socks where possible. There are insecticides (e.g. permethrin) available for treating clothing for those spending extended periods outdoors.
- Apply repellent to all areas of exposed skin, especially those that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus which are the most effective against mosquitoes. The strength of a repellent determines the duration of protection with the higher concentrations providing longer periods of protection. Always check the label for reapplication times.
- Reapply repellent after swimming. The duration of protection from repellent is also reduced with perspiration, such as during strenuous activity or hot weather so it may need to be reapplied more frequently.
- Apply the sunscreen first and then apply the repellent. Be aware that DEET-containing repellents may decrease the sun protection factor (SPF) of sunscreens so you may need to re-apply the sunscreen more frequently.
- For children in particular - most skin repellents are safe for use on children aged 3 months and older when used according to directions, although some formulations are only recommended for children aged 12 months and older - always check the product. Infants aged less than 3 months can be protected from mosquitoes by using an infant carrier draped with mosquito netting that is secured along the edges.
- Be aware of the peak risk times for mosquito bites. Avoid the outdoors or take preventive actions (such as appropriate clothing and skin repellent) between dawn and dusk when most mosquitoes become active, especially close to wetland and bushland areas.
- If camping, ensure the tent has fly screens to prevent mosquitoes entering.
- Mosquito coils and other devices that release insecticides can assist reducing mosquito bites but should be used in combination with topical insect repellents.
- Reduce all water holding containers around the home where mosquitoes could breed. Mosquitoes only need a small amount of liquid to breed.
Residents are encouraged to view further information from NSW Health on Japanese Encephalitis.
Residents are also encouraged to view the fact sheets provided by NSW Health.
Read the Federation Council update to the community.