Mosquito surveillance in the Balonne Shire has detected an instance of Barmah Forest Virus among the local insect population.
No human cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been reported this year, but in light of the insect detection, Balonne Shire Council is urging residents and visitors to take appropriate precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
BFV is passed to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito – it cannot be passed directly between humans.
To help prevent mosquito bites, residents and visitors can take simple precautions when outdoors:
- Avoid outdoor exposure around dawn and in the early evening.
- Wear long, loose-fitting clothing when outdoors.
- Apply a personal repellent containing diethyl toluamide (DEET) or picaridin to exposed skinor to clothing.
- Use mosquito prevention devices including coils, lanterns, and intact insect screens aroundthe home.
- When camping, use mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents.
- Ensure infants and children are adequately protected through the above methods.
Barmah Forest Virus is not fatal and all people who develop the disease do recover.
BFV causes inflammation and joint pain, with similar symptoms to Ross River Virus.
Symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, painful joints, joint swelling, muscle tenderness and skin rashes.
For more information, please refer to the links below:
Balonne Shire Council conducts mosquito surveillance on behalf of the Mosquito-borne Disease Prevention and Control Program – Communicable Diseases Branch.