Are you still in the north? Watch out for mozzie surge

Published: October 19, 2016
Grey nomads, mozzies

For grey nomads still lingering in the north, health authorities have an urgent warning: ‘Watch out for mozzies!’

Experts say a combination of high tides and rain has created ideal breeding conditions for salt-marsh mosquitoes in coastal areas across the Top End. Salt-marsh mosquitoes carry the viruses for Ross River and Barmah Forest disease.

An urgent spraying program has been already been launched to combat a predicted explosion of mosquito numbers in Darwin.

Northern Territory Department of Health’s Director of Medical Entomology Nina Kurucz told news.com.au that an  upsurge in mosquitoes was expected from next Wednesday, and it would last at least 10 days.

Ms Kurucz says mosquitoes have deposited high numbers of eggs in breeding areas, which she expects to hatch simultaneously.

News.com.au reports that a large-scale mosquito survey and aerial spraying project has been launched around Leanyer, Holmes Jungle, Micket Creek and Shoal Bay swamps.

Rangers will also spray areas including Casuarina Coastal Reserve, the Botanic Gardens and Charles Darwin National Park.

“However, there will still be a huge influx of mosquitoes from outside the control areas which will affect Darwin, Palmerston and rural coastal areas,” Ms Kurucz told news.com.au. “Although the high-risk period for Ross River virus does not start until December, people need to protect themselves, as the disease can be contracted all year round.”

Visitors and residents are advised to protect themselves from bites by covering up, using repellents and staying indoors when mosquito numbers are high.

·         Are you still in the north? How have you found the mozzie ‘problem’ so far?

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David Harrison
5 years ago

Having contracted Barmah Forest Virus on the Atherton Tablelands which I had never heard of previously, I think it would be prudent to advise Nomads exactly what this virus is as it is excruciatingly painful and there is absolutely no treatment availabl.

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