Locals planning to travel around the state during the remainder of the school holidays are being warned to avoid exposure to mosquitos as experts have detected potentially deadly viruses.
The Murry Valley Encephalitis Virus and the Kunjin virus was identified during routine monitoring of chickens in a surveillance flock based near Meningie.
The Department for Health and Wellbeing’s Acting Executive Director of Health Protection and Licensing Services, Dr Fay Jenkins, says there has been an increase in the number of mosquitoes present along the Murry River this season.
Dr. Jenkins highlighted that many people infected with MVEv are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms such as fever, headache and nausea.
“Although only a few people who become infected with MVEv will develop more serious symptoms which may include confusion, headaches, neck stiffness, tremors, drowsiness and seizures, for those who do, it can be very serious and is fatal in about 20% of cases.
For those who survive, about 40 % of people will suffer permanent neurological damage.
People are being warned that there is no vaccine and no cure for mosquito borne diseases transmitted in South Australia, and the only way of preventing disease is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
“To protect against mosquito borne diseases, we are encouraging people to ‘fight the bite’ and take precautions such as wearing long, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and use a repellent which contains DEET or picaridin.
“People should also reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitos by proofing their homes and by removing any potential breeding sites on their properties.” said Dr Jenkins.