Mosquito viruses warning

Mr Corben said we were lucky in 2011, but 2012 could be a different story.
Mr Corben said we were lucky in 2011, but 2012 could be a different story. Contributed

ALTHOUGH the potentially deadly Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) doesn't pose a huge risk to Clarence Valley residents, people are being reminded that other mosquito viruses are still prevalent.

North Coast director of public health Paul Corben said while people in the south and west of NSW were being warned about the risk of MVE, residents in northern NSW needed to protect against Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses.

"Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus are the two most common mosquito-borne illnesses we see on the North Coast of NSW," he said.

"In fact, a large proportion of the Barmah Forest virus seen in NSW is seen on the North Coast."

Mr Corben said we were lucky in 2011, but 2012 could be a different story.

"The last 12 months has been less than average (in terms of reported disease)," he said.

"We think that's because it has been too wet, particularly for the salt water-breeding mosquitos.

"So we haven't seen large reports of disease . . . but we're starting to see an increase in mosquito breeding.

"It's the time of year where people spend a lot more time outside.

"In the weeks after Christmas, and leading up to Easter, it's the time of year when we see the most reported disease on the North Coast."

Topics:  insects mosquito virus

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