Murray Valley encephalitis warning for Central Australia

Residents in the Barkly and Alice Springs regions are being urged to take precautions to protect themselves against mosquitoes, with numbers expected to increase following extensive rainfall across the region.

Heavy rainfall across Central Australia has created favourable environmental conditions that might trigger an early start to the Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) season.  

The MVE virus is transmitted by the common banded mosquito, Culex annulirostris.

To avoid mosquito borne disease, use personal mosquito protection and avoid being outdoors in or close to wetland areas or places where mosquitoes are active, especially after sunset.

Murray Valley encephalitis is a rare disease, but can potentially be fatal.

The symptoms can include severe headache, high fever, drowsiness, tremor and seizures (especially in young children). In some cases the disease can progress to delirium, coma, permanent brain damage or death.

The last MVE case in Central Australia was recorded in February 2015 in the Barkly region.

For more information on minimising your chance of being bitten by mosquitoes go to https://nt.gov.au/wellbeing/health-conditions-treatments/viral/murray-valley-encephalitis

Health authorities are warning that mosquito numbers are on the rise in the Top End.