IMPORTANT: Beware of mosquitoes in wake of floods and heavy rain

Fraser Coast residents are being urged to take precautions against mosquito-borne illnesses in the wake of the recent severe weather and a public health alert about Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV).

Press release issued by Fraser Coast Regional Council.

a silhouette of a mosquito
Photo by Laszlo Fatrai on Pexels.com

The public health alert was issued by Queensland Health overnight following the detection of a human case of JEV in Queensland with more details available here – https://bit.ly/3HHgHce

Deputy Mayor Darren Everard said residents could take simple but effective steps to minimise the risk of mosquito bites.

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“Applying insect repellent, wearing loose clothes to cover arms and legs and wearing closed-in shoes can significantly increase protection against mosquito bites,” he said.

“This is critical for people who may need to clean-up in and around their properties affected by recent rainfall and flooding because standing water allows mosquitoes to breed in large numbers.

“Residents should check stored goods which may provide a breeding site, like pot plant containers, buckets and other equipment stored around sheds.”

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Cr Paul Truscott said receding floodwaters and pooling water from heavy rainfall can provide perfect conditions for mosquitoes to breed.

“Mosquitoes carry multiple and potentially dangerous illnesses, and our region is particularly vulnerable right now given the conditions are ripe for mosquito activity,” he said.

“Some of the most common mosquito-borne illnesses are Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus, though these are only some of what can be spread by a mosquito bite.

“A public health alert has been issued about Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) following a confirmed human case who had recently travelled in regional southern Queensland and was now being treated in a Brisbane hospital.

“Disease caused by the virus occurs most commonly in pigs and horses but can be transmitted to humans from mosquito bites. Most people infected with the virus are asymptomatic, but it can cause fever, headaches and rashes.”

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Cr Everard said Council officers would be monitoring potential mosquito breeding areas around Maryborough over the next week and applying mosquito control chemicals where required.

“Council will be using larvicide treatment in breeding areas to reduce mosquito numbers and will be using residual barrier treatments in select sensitive locations such as schools, community halls and high use areas,” he said.

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“This treatment, which can be an effective control method for up to eight weeks, is done on the exterior of buildings using low toxicity chemicals and would occur outside business hours where possible.

“Over coming weeks, Council officers will be continually assessing and reviewing treatment locations and reapplying treatments as necessary.”

Cr Truscott said most mosquito bites would result in no issues or symptoms, but it was important people speak with their doctor if they experience body aches, diarrhoea, headaches, fever, feelings of nausea, or any other notable symptoms.

For more information about mosquito borne diseases and prevention, visit https://www.health.qld.gov.au/public-health/topics/infection-control/mosquito-borne-dengue

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