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Be aware of Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) virus

Published on Tuesday, 31 March 2020 at 3:35:09 PM

The Department of Health is warning Pilbara and Kimberley residents to take additional precautions to avoid mosquito bites following continued detections of Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) virus.

Evidence of the virus has been detected from the sentinel chicken surveillance program coordinated by the Department of Health, PathWest and local governments, to provide early warning of virus activity.

Initial symptoms of MVE include fever, drowsiness, headache, stiff neck, nausea and dizziness. People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical advice quickly. In severe cases, people may experience fits, lapse into a coma, be left with permanent brain damage or die.

How do I minimise my risk of exposure?

• Avoid outdoor exposure, particularly at dawn and early evening;
• Wear protective (long, loose-fitting, light-coloured) clothing when outdoors;
• Apply an effective personal repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) or picaridin to exposed skin or clothing and always follow the label instructions;
• Remove water holding containers from around the home and garden to ensure mosquitoes do not breed in your own backyard;
• Use mosquito coils and mosquito lanterns and apply barrier sprays containing bifenthrin in patio and outdoor areas around houses;
• Ensure insect screens are installed and in good condition on houses and caravans;
• Use mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents if sleeping outside; and
• Ensure infants and children are adequately protected against mosquito bites, preferably with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening.

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For media information:
Laura Hawes
Manager Marketing Communication and Events
(08) 9158 9365 |

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