Mandurah: 2016-17 mosquito season largely in line with expectations

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE 2016-17 mosquito season was largely in line with environmental predictions, according to a report by the City of Mandurah.

Tidal inundations and hatching events were frequent and had the potential to impose far higher mosquito abundance and disease risk in general, particularly in February and March last year.

The report said the successful completion of 21 aerial treatments during the season was positive, with mosquito numbers generally managed effectively.

Notified cases of mosquito-borne disease were somewhat higher and could be linked with an increase in mosquitoes but the drivers of the viruses and their detection were complex with many factors involved, including a greater community awareness and more proactive testing by GPs.

The report said a focus must be maintained to educate the public as there were times when the disease risk was elevated despite a lower abundance of mosquitoes.

The 2016-17 season recorded a higher number of reported cases in Mandurah on previous numbers as was the case across the Peel region.

In the 2016-17 season, 150 Ross River Virus cases were recorded in the Peel region compared to 89 in the previous season with 68 in Mandurah compared to 41 the previous season.

The report said the fact that cases of Ross River Virus continued to be reported in the Peel region during a season of moderately low mosquito abundance underpinned the challenge faced by State and local government health agencies.

The City also received considerable feedback in the form of complaints with 63 registered between July 2016 and June 2017.

A new venture and a huge success was the attendance by council officers with hands-on activities and information at the 2016 Mandurah Children’s Festival.

Mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River Virus and Barmah Forest Virus are estimated to cost about $5000 per case in medical expenses and loss of earnings.

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