Help info. re. Kimberley travel alert

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 14:57
ThreadID: 12219 Views:1699 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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Re. Murray Valley encephalitis. For months now we have been looking for ward to a long camping stay in the Kimberley. With just 2 weeks to go there have been rumours of a recent finding of this mosquito bourne virus "in a well know NE WA location". Said to be the Pilbara & Kimberley regions. I have serached the Web without success to find what that is all about. Can anyone provide me with any real confirmation or facts about the rumour and disease, or a web sute I can visit to allay my fears? Please.
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Reply By: Pluto - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 15:19

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 15:19
I received the following though our safety communications at work. Hope this helps.

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The Department of Health has warned people living in or visiting the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Murchison, Goldfields and inland regions of Western Australia to take extra care against mosquito bites due to the likelihood of a high risk of Ross River virus transmission in the coming season.

Department of Health Medical Entomologist Dr Mike Lindsay said the warning included a continuing risk in South West, South Coastal and Metropolitan regions of the State.

"The recent cyclonic rainfall and flooding in northern and inland regions means more mosquitoes and therefore an expansion of the risk area for contracting Ross River virus disease," Dr Lindsay said.

"With the favourable conditions for mosquito breeding and survival, we are also warning of the likelihood of activity of the potentially fatal Murray Valley encephalitis virus over the next few months."

Dr Lindsay said there was no cure or vaccine for Ross River virus disease or Murray Valley encephalitis, so it was important people take precautions to avoid mosquito bites in regions where these viruses were active.

"Ross River Virus causes a non fatal but potentially debilitating disease, with symptoms including joint pains, rash, muscle aches, fever and lethargy," Dr Lindsay said.

"Murray Valley encephalitis causes serious symptoms that can be fatal in severe cases, or can lead to permanent brain damage.

"People experiencing symptoms of Murray Valley encephalitis, which include severe headache and neck stiffness, fever, delirium and coma, should seek medical advice quickly.

"In young children, fever might be the only early sign, so parents should see their doctor if concerned, and particularly if their child has drowsiness, floppiness, irritability, poor feeding, or general distress."

People do not need to alter their plans to travel in Western Australia as a result of this warning; however, it is important to avoid mosquito bites by taking a few simple steps, such as:

* avoiding outdoor exposure around dusk and at night in areas where mosquitoes are active;

* ensuring insect screens are installed and completely mosquito-proof and using mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents;

* wearing protective personal repellent containing diethyl toluamide (DEET) or picaridin, as well as protective clothing when outdoors. The most effective and long-lasting formulations are lotions or gels. Most natural or organic repellents are not as effective as DEET or picaridin; and

* ensuring infants and children are adequately protected against mosquito bites, preferably with suitable clothing, bednets or other forms of insect screening
AnswerID: 55149

Reply By: Pluto - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 15:24

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 15:24
Arkay,

I just found the source of the above. Have a look at WA Department of Health
AnswerID: 55152

Follow Up By: Arkay - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 15:26

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 15:26
Thanks Pluto. Just the info I was looking for. And so quick a response. About 15 minutes after I posted it. What a fantastic site Exploroz is!
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FollowupID: 316845

Reply By: Davoe - Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 16:21

Tuesday, Apr 20, 2004 at 16:21
mosquitos are the bearers of quite a few diseases always have been nothing has changed and I wouldnt go putting my travell plans off. as previos post all those "beat the bite" tips are the go just as you wouldnt go into the sun without slip slop slap and take plenty of bushmans this stuff has been tested by me and found 110% effective in the toughest test of all ---- port adelaide river mangroves and shady camp
AnswerID: 55162

Reply By: sean - Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 18:17

Wednesday, Apr 21, 2004 at 18:17
The NT Governemnt this week put out a mosquito warning for Tennant Creek. There is the species present that carries dengue (spelling?) and warn that unless more funds and efforts are made to eradicate it, someone will die.

So its just not the Kimberley. It pays to take these risks seriously and heed all the advice from the experts.

Sean
AnswerID: 55362

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