Fourth Case Of Japanese Encephalitis Virus Sparks NSW Health Warning

Mosquito bite precautions


Article heading image for Fourth Case Of Japanese Encephalitis Virus Sparks NSW Health Warning

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NSW has recorded a fourth case of the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV).

The confirmed case was detected in a woman aged in her 60s who spent time in the Griffith region before the onset of her illness.

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It follows the state’s first fatality recorded last month when a man in his 70s from Griffith died with the virus spread by mosquitos.

Two other cases were confirmed on Monday, a man, and a child from different towns in the state's south, with more cases expected to be confirmed over the coming days and weeks.

Since late February, the JE virus has been confirmed in local samples from pig farms in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia.

Spread by mosquitoes, the JE virus can infect animals and humans, however it cannot be transmitted between humans, and it cannot be caught by eating pork or other pig products

With no specific treatment for JE, NSW Health is urging people to take precautions against mosquito bites by following some simple steps"

  • Avoid going outdoors during peak mosquito times, especially at dawn and dusk, and close to wetland and bushland areas.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants outdoors (reduce skin exposure). Also wear shoes and socks where possible. 
  • Apply repellent to all areas of exposed skin, especially those that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus which are the most effective against mosquitoes. Always check the label for reapplication times.
  • Reapply repellent after swimming. The duration of protection from repellent is also reduced with perspiration, from strenuous activity or hot weather so it may need to be reapplied more frequently.
  • Most skin repellents are safe for use on children aged three months and older when used according to directions, although some formulations are only recommended for children aged 12 months and older - always check the product. 
  • If camping, ensure the tent has fly screens to prevent mosquitoes entering.
  • Mosquito coils and other devices that release insecticides can be used to assist reducing the chances of getting bitten. 
  • Reduce all water holding containers around the home where mosquitoes could breed. 

For further information on mosquito-borne disease and ways to protect yourself go to: www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/pests/vector/Pages/resources.aspx

Fact sheets on specific mosquito-borne diseases, including Japanese encephalitis, Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus, are available at: www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/pests/vector/Pages/factsheets.aspx

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Hit News Team

10 March 2022

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