Warning - Barmah Forest Virus
The Department of Health is reminding residents to clean up water holding containers and mosquito breeding sites around the home to reduce the presence of mosquitoes over summer. The warning follows the first detection of Barmah Forest virus (BFV), a similar illness to Ross River Virus (RRV), in the Geographe region of the south west of Western Australia. Symptoms of RRV and BFV include painful and swollen joints, sore muscles, skin rashes, fever, fatigue and headaches, which can last from weeks to months. If you have these symptoms please see your doctor as diagnosis can only be confirmed via bloodtest.
Make sure when you are outside you keep your skin covered and wear insect repellent as it only takes one bite.
Any queries please call Health Services on 9727 0222
Mosquito breeding occurs in freshwater after periods of high rainfall where there is flooding of the wetlands. Mosquitoes are known to present serious health risks and cause considerable nuisance to residents and visitors to the Shire of Capel.
What is the Shire of Capel doing?
There is approximately 900 hectares of potential breeding area, therefore it is a MASSIVE task. The Shire of Capel has developed an extensive mosquito control program to try and reduce the incidence of Ross River virus and Barmah Forest. The key components of the program are:
PRE AND POST TREATMENT MONITORING finds out where the mozzies are breeding and how effective the treatment was.
ADULT TRAPPING catching adult mosquitoes to monitor the identity and density of the adult population present.
LARVICIDING treating the larvae present with a granular growth retardant called Prolink Prosand, to prevent the larvae from becoming adults.
How Can You Assist?
Mosquitoes breed in STANDING WATER.
You can help eliminate breeding in your backyard:
Avoid Being Bitten
- Dispose of all containers which hold water.
- Keep ornamental ponds stocked with mosquito-eating fish, eg goldfish.
- Empty pot plant drip trays once a week or fill with sand.
- Empty and clean animal and pet drinking water once a week.
- Keep swimming pools well chlorinated and filtered and free of dead leaves.
- Fill or drain depressions in the ground that hold water.
- Prevent leaking taps which can maintain semi-permanent pools.
Avoid over watering lawns. This can lead to high water tables or run off to storm water drains and create permanent pools.
Vent pipes on septic tank systems must be fitted with mosquito proof cowls. Seal all gaps in the lid, and ensure leach drains are completely covered.
- Screen rainwater tanks and/or add paraffin oil to cover surface.
- Ensure roof guttering does not hold water.
- Some plants (especially bromeliads) hold water in their leaf axils. These should be emptied of water once a week.
Steps to take to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes:
Mosquitoes are most active during dawn and dusk. Try to avoid being outside during these times.
Ensuring insect screens on houses are installed and completely mosquito-proof. If camping, use mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents.
Wearing long, light coloured, loose-fitting protective clothing when outdoors in mosquito-prone areas, (mosquitoes can bite through tight clothing).
Apply personal repellents containing DEET (diethyl toluamide) or
picaridin to all areas of exposed skin. The most effective and long-lasting formulations are lotions or gels. Most natural or organic repellents are not as effective as DEET or picaridin.
Ensuring infants and children are adequately protected against mosquito bites, preferably with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening. Only infant-strength repellents should be used on children.
In outdoor entertainment areas use products such as mosquito coils and citronella to repel mosquitoes. These are available at supermarkets and hardware stores. Electronic Bug Zappers are also available from hardware stores and are an effective device that use a ultra-violet light to attract mosquitoes then kills them with an electric charge.
Recognise and avoid areas of mosquito activity, eg, swamps, wetlands, salt marshes and billabongs.
Turn off the front lights to your house. Many mosquitoes are attracted to light.
What is Ross River virus?
Arthritis Foundation of Western Australia
If you would like to report high mosquito activity please feel free to ring 9727 0222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.