Warmer weather and this year’s higher than average rains and flooding makes the perfect conditions for a big mosquito season. Many people don’t know that in NSW, mosquitoes can also spread viruses such as Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), Murray Valley encephalitis and Ross River virus.
While serious illness and hospitalisation from these viruses is rare, the more mosquitoes, the greater the risk.
The best protection against mosquitoes and the diseases they carry is to avoid mosquito bites. We’re encouraging the NSW community to take the steps to protect and keep mozzies away this summer by:
- Wearing and reapplying repellent: repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus should be used on any areas of exposed skin and reapplied regularly.
- Covering up while outside: wear light, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts, long pants and covered footwear with socks, particularly at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Keeping mosquitoes out: close doors and windows when indoors or install fly screens where possible. You can also use mosquito nets around beds or when camping.
- Stop mosquitoes breeding: mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Remove items from around the home that might collect water such as pot plant saucers, toys, and old tyres.
- Vaccination: If you live in some areas of NSW, you may be eligible for a free JEV vaccination – talk to your GP.
For more information on how to reduce the risk of JEV and other mosquito-borne diseases, please visit health.nsw.gov.au