News

More to worry about from mozzies than the buzz and itch

It's important to take precautions against mosquito bites to protect against diseases like Barmah Forest virus and Ross River fever.
It's important to take precautions against mosquito bites to protect against diseases like Barmah Forest virus and Ross River fever. Contributed

CLARENCE Valley residents are five to eight times more likely to contract a nasty disease from a mosquito bite than the average for the State.

The North Coast Public Health Unit is reminding residents and visitors to the region to protect themselves against mosquitoes, which are increasing in numbers as summer progresses.

"Mosquito numbers increase in summer and when there is water lying around," said senior environmental health officer Tony Kohlenberg.

"As it is predicted that rainfall will be above average over the next three months, there will be more mosquito breeding sites around and a greater risk of being bitten."

Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses are common on the north coast and are transmitted by infected mosquitoes that breed in flooded, grassy and swampy areas and around waterways.

On average in each year, over the past decade about 500 people living on NSW north coast were diagnosed with either Ross River virus or Barmah Forest virus - in about equal numbers (about 250 cases of each are reported on average each year.)

Compared to the NSW average, people living on north coast are five to eight times more likely to be infected with Barmah Forest virus and three to five times more likely to be infected with Ross River virus.

Simple steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes include:

  •  When outside cover up as much as possible with light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and covered footwear.
  •  Use an effective repellent on all exposed skin. Re-apply repellent within a few hours, as protection wears off with perspiration. The best mosquito repellents contain Diethyl Toluamide (DEET) or Picaridin.
  •  Light mosquito coils or use vapourising mats indoors. Devices that use light to attract and electrocute insects are not effective.
  •  Cover all windows, doors, vents and other entrances with insect screens.
  •  When camping, use flyscreens on caravans and tents or sleep under mosquito nets.

"Preventing these viruses depends on avoiding mosquito bites, especially in the warmer months of the year when mosquitoes are most active," Mr Kohlenberg said.

Topics:  barmah forest fever, mosquitos, ross river virus



Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Help local Lyme sufferers get help overseas

Therasia Jennings and her daughter Faith who suffer from a Lyme like disease.

Funding campaign launched to help Pottsville Lyme disease sufferers

Provest hits back at ‘dim sim’ Walt over hospital

North Coast MP and Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord is injured.

Dim sims and weasel words muddy hospital funding debate

Mooball workers ‘didn’t know’ of radioactive dangers

JUST A JOB: Former Tweed Shire Council ganger Laurie Swift, pictured at his Pottsville home.

Startling claims by former council workers

Latest deals and offers

Perfect time to invest in Northern Rivers property

The Northern Rivers rental market is tighter than Sydney making it the perfect time for investors to get better returns out of property than superannuation or banks deposits.

Low interest rates and tight rental market are prime time to invest