Seeing Australia soon? Give our mozzies a miss!
Backpackers, caravaners and campers should keep their guard up to avoid mozzie bites this autumn.
The advice comes from state health authorities following a dramatic increase in the number of cases of Ross River fever (RRV) in recent weeks.
They say 2012 is shaping up as one of the worst for the virus in recent years. Heavy rainfall has topped up rivers, creeks and wetlands, while widespread flooding has left vast areas of standing water - perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Already this year 1382 cases of RRV have been reported nationwide
and many more will have gone unreported.
The highest number has occurred in Western Australia (848) and Queensland (635), followed by New South Wales (131), Northern Territory (85), South Australia (60), Victoria (71) and Tasmania (8).
Easter Message: Remember the repellent
Queensland is warning of more RRV and dengue fever as mosquito numbers rise in coming weeks following heavy rain and flooding.
The Northern Territory has also seen above average numbers of RRV infections in December and January, and more rain in March will cause spikes in numbers of the disease's carriers, Director of Entomology, Peter Whelan warned this week. As well as the continuing risk of Ross River virus, the Territory is entering its Murray Valley encephalitis.
In New South Wales, mosquito breeding conditions will be ideal for the varieties which transmit Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, Kunjin virus and Marrey Valley Encephalitis virus, according to NSW Health Spokesman, Dr Jeremy McAnulty.
"Avoiding mosquito bites will be especially important now and until at least after Easter when many people may be enjoying outdoor activities such as camping or fishing in areas with high mosquito numbers," he said.
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