Japanese encephalitis virus (JE virus) has been detected in Victoria for the first time.
JE virus is a rare but potentially serious infection of the brain caused by a virus spread through mosquito bites. If you have JE, you most likely won't have symptoms. But if you have been in contact with mosquitoes and develop a sudden high fever and headache in the following days and weeks, see your doctor. If you have more serious symptoms like disorientation or a seizure - urgently seek medical attention.
Children under 5 and older people have a higher risk of developing more severe illness, like encephalitis.
Take precautions to avoid mosquito bites around your home and yard, when you’re on holidays and spending time outdoors.
Heavy rainfall over the winter months creates ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes that can spread disease. High numbers of mosquitoes will continue over the summer months across rural Victoria.
Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus, Japanese Encephalitis virus and Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE) – all serious, infectious and potentially life-threatening in the case of MVE.
We are taking action to reduce mosquito numbers by expanding our annual surveillance and mosquito management activities and community education programs.
The annual ‘Beat the Bite’ campaign urges all Victorians to take simple steps to protect themselves and their family from mosquito bites.
The campaign’s top tips to ‘Beat the Bite’ are:
If you have any concerns about your health, talk to your doctor or call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 606 024. For more information visit, Better Health Channel.