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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Australia : Deadly mosquito virus still thriving in WA

Via WA Today :

" More cases of mosquito-borne viruses have been detected in the state's Kimberley and Pilbara regions more than two months after three people were killed by the virus in three Australian states.

Murray Valley encephalitis was continuing to be detected across the state which medical entomologist Sue Harrington said was unusual given it was so far into the dry season.

She said it indicated an "ongoing and persistent activity of the virus".

One person has died in WA and a further nine people have been found to have contracted the mosquito-borne virus this year. Another person was currently being monitored and was believed to be the 11th person with MVE.

"Murray Valley encephalitis is carried by mosquitoes, and while the risk of being infected and becoming unwell is low, the illnesses can be severe and people should take sensible precautions to avoid mosquito bites," she said.

She said monitoring results, undertaken in conjunction with the University of WA, found that although mosquito numbers were quite low, the rare but potentially fatal virus was still being detected.

A man died in the north-west region of WA in early May after contracting the virus. Later that month, it also claimed the lived of a Canadian tourist who visited the Northern Territory and a South Australian man."

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