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Town responds to Murray Valley encephalitis detection

Published on Wednesday, 15 March 2023 at 1:52:26 PM

The Town of Port Hedland is urging the community to remain vigilant for mosquitoes after confirmation Murray Valley encephalitis has been detected in a sentinel bird flock in Hedland.

The Department of Health on Wednesday confirmed the mosquito-borne virus had been found in its chicken flock after an earlier detection in the east Kimberley region.

Mayor Peter Carter said people needed to take precautions to protect against mosquito bites.

“This includes wearing long, loose-fitting and light-coloured clothing when outdoors, applying insect repellent and avoiding being outdoors at dawn and the early evening,” Mayor Carter said.

The Department of Health also recommends:

  • Ensuring insect screens are installed and in good condition in properties and caravans;
  • Using mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents when sleeping outside;
  • Using mosquito coils and lanterns and applying barrier sprays containing bifenthrin in patio and outdoor areas;
  • Keeping lawn and other vegetation short; and
  • Removing water holding containers from around the home and garden.

Mayor Carter said that the Town’s Environmental Health team is ramping up its ongoing mosquito management activities in response to the information from the Department of Health.

This will include increased barrier fogging around the Hedland population zones and treatment to water bodies that may harbour mosquito breeding.

“This increase in mosquito activity will see specialised staff undertaking concentrated efforts to prevent mosquitos from affecting population centres,” Mayor Carter said.

“The team will be very active to ensure the public is as protected as possible but I encourage all residents to take measures to protect themselves as the best prevention to mosquito-borne disease is not getting bitten.”

Fogging operations will be undertaken at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active and treatment will have the most impact.

For more information about Murray Valley encephalitis go to:

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