The Department of Health is reminding residents and tourists in Perth and the south-west to take precautions to avoid mosquitos over the coming weeks.
The warning follows the first detection of Ross River virus (RRV) in mosquitoes for the 2018/19 season, through the Department’s routine mosquito and virus surveillance program in coastal parts of the south-west.
Medical Entomologist, Dr Peter Neville, said that mosquito populations in south-west regions covered by the program were generally below or about average for this time of year, but detection of RRV virus in those mosquitoes means that people should continue to take care to prevent being bitten.
Dr Neville said that reported cases of RRV so far this season are well below average.
However, there is a potential for more people to be exposed to mosquito bites over coming weeks given temperatures are beginning to warm up and people will be frequenting the south-west region for Dunsborough Leavers 2018 and the school holiday period.
“Mosquito management is being undertaken by local government authorities in collaboration with the Department of Health. However, it is not realistic to rely on mosquito management programs alone to control mosquitoes – individuals living in or travelling to the region also need to take their own precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” Dr Neville said.
People living or travelling in the south-west should adopt the Department’s recommended approach to “Fight-the-Bite” this season and in particular “Cover up, Repel and Clean-up”.
For more information visit: http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/fightthebite.