WA Fight the Virus mosquito campaign launched in Mandurah

A CAMPAIGN to reduce mosquito-borne disease in WA was launched in Mandurah today (September 25).

Announcing the The Fight the Bite campaign, Health Minister Kim Hames said mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases placed a heavy human and financial burden on affected individuals, communities and the health-care systems.

“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 local governments did a good job of managing insect problems in many high-risk parts of WA 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 members of the community were aware of how to reduce the risks and impact associated with 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.

“More understanding and education is needed to ensure people travelling bring home great memories and not a serious disease.”

Visit fight the bite.

Department of Health managing scientist environmental health hazards Michael Lindsay and Health Minister Kim Hames.