Thursday, February 2, 2023

Protect yourself from Murray Valley encephalitis virus

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Mildura Rural City Council, Media Release, 12 January 2023

Mildura Rural City Council’s routine mosquito monitoring program has detected Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) virus in our municipality.

MVE Graphic

The Victorian Department of Health confirmed the positive test result in the past 24 hours.

MVE virus can cause a rare but potentially serious infection of the central nervous system and is spread to humans by infected mosquitos.

While most people who get MVE virus show no symptoms, symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches.

In serious cases, people can develop meningitis or encephalitis and may experience symptoms including severe headache, neck stiffness, sensitivity to bright lights, drowsiness, confusion, seizures, loss of consciousness or coma. Anyone with symptoms should seek medical care.

Council’s Manager Development Services Andrew Millen said Council staff have started appropriate mosquito treatments of the detection site as a precaution.

Mr Millen said given there is no effective treatment or vaccine for MVE, preventing mosquito bites is the best protection against MVE virus.

Steps to avoid mosquito bites include:

  • wearing long, loose-fitting clothing, as mosquitos can bite through tight-fitting clothing
  • using repellents containing DEET or picaridin on all exposed skin
  • ensuring you have flyscreens on all windows and self-closing wire screens on doors.
  • Limit outdoor activity if lots of mosquitos are about.
  • Use ‘knockdown’ fly spray, mosquito coils or plug-in repellent where you gather to sit or eat outdoors.
  • Remove stagnant water where mosquitos can breed around your home or campsite.

This detection of the virus in Mildura and northern Victoria, marks the first detection in Victoria in more than a decade.

For more information about MVE virus visit Better Health Channel – Better Health Channel

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