Summer Time is Mozzie Time

The long days of summer mean more time spent in the great outdoors - working or just simply relaxing. Mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry are a real health threat to the people of Hawkesbury.

Ross River disease and Barmah Forest Virus infections are spread by mosquitoes and are of great concern in this area. The spread of this disease depends largely on the season and whether the conditions favour mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes pick up the disease virus through the blood of infected animals and birds. Once infected with the virus the mosquito will carry it for life

Anyone can contract these diseases. In the western Sydney area, on average 23 human cases are reported each year. However, depending on rainfall and temperature patterns, the number of cases notified each year can vary widely. Most of these cases will become infected as a result of travel outside the area, but over the past three years up to one third of cases have picked up their illnesses locally, mainly in semi-rural and urban fringe areas during the months from December to May.

Hawkesbury City Council in conjunction with the Sydney West Area Health Service sample mosquitoes in the area to learn more about these dynamic diseases and the prevalence of the virus in our area. Environment Health Officers set traps at certain times of the year and send the trapped insects to the Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Researchs' (ICPMR) Depatment of Medical Entomology at Westmead Hospital.

Please peruse the web resources below for NSW Health advice on mosquitoes, and for further information on mosquito and other insects habits. If you would like to further information on the Arbovirus sampling program, or with mosquitoes generally, please contact Council’s Environmental Health Officer on (02) 4560 4444.

Web Resources

NSW Health advice: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/health-public-affairs/mosquitos/

NSW Health information: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/mosquito.aspx

Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research, Department of Medical Entomology advise on most biting insects and spiders: http://medent.usyd.edu.au/

The NSW arbovirus surveillance website: http://www.arbovirus.health.nsw.gov.au/

Page ID: 1657