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Mosquito-borne disease worries as floods put country on high alert against new virus

Health officials have warned locals to vaccinate against Japanese encephalitis early and cover up a growing mosquito population in western NSW.

A group of leading medical professionals from across the country met in Dubbo to discuss ways to better manage mosquito populations and protect communities from both insect bites and mosquito-spread pathogens.

Cameron Webb, associate professor at the University of Sydney, said continued flooding was a concern in the early stages of the mosquito season.

Japanese encephalitis is the most worrisome mosquito-borne virus this summer, but Webb said there are also many new subspecies and new mosquito species.

“We’re seeing a huge variety of mosquitoes coming out of these floods,” he said.

“But when it comes to mosquito-borne diseases, the mosquito we are most concerned about is a species called Culex pipiens.

“It’s mosquitoes that bite us and animals and play an important role in spreading these pathogens that make us sick.”

hide from mosquitoes

Residents are urged to remain vigilant for the summer.

“If you’re outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk, cover yourself as much as possible with long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and covered shoes.

Webb said people who are eligible for the Japanese encephalitis vaccine should definitely get it.

“Please visit the New South Wales Health website or talk to your local GP. They will be able to give you more information about your eligibility and how to access the vaccine. ” he said.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-11-09/flood-new-mosquitoes-japanese-encephalitis/101630316 Mosquito-borne disease worries as floods put country on high alert against new virus

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