Beating mozzie bites in Mandurah

A CAMPAIGN to reduce mosquito-borne disease in WA was launched in Mandurah on Friday.

Announcing the Fight the Bite campaign, Health Minister Kim Hames said mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases greatly affected individuals, communities and the healthcare system.

“Fight the Bite is about individuals protecting themselves and their families from mosquitoes in three ways – covering up, using repellent and cleaning up areas around the home where mosquitoes can breed,” Dr Hames said.

He said councils did a good job of managing insect problems in many high-risk areas and the State Government had supported that work with an extra $4 million over 2013-14 to 2016-17 to strengthen mosquito management programs.

Dr Hames said the focus of the Fight the Bite campaign was to ensure people were aware of how to reduce the risks and effects of mosquito bites.

“There is no vaccine and no cure for mosquito-borne diseases in WA,” he said.

“The only way to protect yourself is to avoid being bitten.

“The most common mosquito-borne diseases in WA are Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus, which can lead to lethargy, severe joint swelling and pain that can continue for many weeks and in some cases many months.

“Added to that, there has been a significant increase in West Australians contracting mosquito-borne diseases while travelling abroad.”

Visit www.healthywa.wa. gov.au/fightthebite.