Katherine region residents are being warned to protect themselves from mosquitoes.
NT Health expects there will be an explosion in mosquito numbers after the record rains across the Top End in the past fortnight.
“Numbers are likely to increase from Saturday and will remain elevated until areas dry up,” the government said.
“Increased rainfall and widespread flooding has created environmental conditions favourable for mosquitoes to breed in high numbers,” Nina Kurucz, director of Medical Entomology, said.
Some of these mosquitoes can transmit Ross River virus and the potentially fatal Murray Valley encephalitis.
Although no MVE virus activity has been detected through the flavivirus surveillance program carried out in collaboration between the Department of Primary Industry and Resources and the Department of Health, we are now in the high risk period for MVE until the end of June.
Other non-disease related mosquitoes are also expected to increase in numbers.
To avoid being bitten people are advised to:
- · avoid locations near swamps and wetlands
- · stay in mosquito-proof accommodation and camping facilities at night
- · wear light-coloured clothing with long sleeves, long trousers and socks, especially between dusk and dawn in areas where mosquitoes are likely to bite
- · use a protective repellent containing 20 percent DEET or Picaridin as a supplement to protective clothing, with creams providing best protection
- · use mosquito coils, mosquito lanterns and barrier sprays in patio and outdoor areas near houses
- · ensure children and animals are adequately protected against mosquito bites.
Beware the mud bug as well.