Department of Health

Call To Action: Be Mosquito Aware this Easter (Archived content)

19/04/11
Published by Department of Health & Human Services

Victorians are reminded to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes over the school and Easter holidays.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Carnie said at this time people still need to be vigilant about mosquito-borne viruses such as Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus.

“This is important as families look to enjoy their outdoor activities before the cooler weather, especially if they are visiting bushland, river or wetland areas,” Dr Carnie said.

“With the onset of cooler weather, mosquito numbers have started to fall, but people can still be bitten.

“And this winter, the Department of Health in conjunction with the Department of Primary Industries, will continue the surveillance program where small flocks of poultry are regularly tested for the presence of a range of mosquito-borne diseases,” Dr Carnie said.

“As well, the Department, in partnership with various local councils, will continue some programs to monitor overall mosquito numbers.

“These measures are being taken during winter to assist us to find out more about mosquito breeding activity and the prevalence of diseases some mosquitoes can carry.”

Dr Carnie said individuals also need to undertake simple precautions to help protect against mosquitoes.

“Traditionally mosquitoes are at their most active at dawn and dusk,” Dr Carnie said.

“To reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes at any time of the day people in mosquito-prone areas should cover up and use insect repellents when camping, in their gardens or at barbecues.

“Householders should ensure that insect screens fitted to doors and windows are in good condition.

“Visitors and residents should wear long, loose-fitting clothing and use a suitable insect repellent containing picaridin or DEET as an active ingredient on exposed skin areas.”

Mosquito numbers can be reduced by getting rid of stagnant water around the home or campsites. Mosquitoes will breed in anything that can hold water including old tyres, unused fish ponds and pot plant holders.

As mosquitoes take about 10 days to breed, water containers should be emptied at least once a week.

For more information:
Better Health Channel - http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/

Reviewed 19 April 2011

Health.vic

Contact details

Bram Alexander Department of Health Media Unit

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