People who are spending more time outdoors, particularly if camping, are at increased risk of mosquito-borne viral infections due to the recent heavy rains and flooding.
To protect against mosquitoes and reduce the risk of diseases they transmit:
- cover-up with a loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt and pants when outside
- apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin
- take special care during peak mosquito biting hours, especially around dawn and dusk
- remove potential mosquito breeding sites from around the home and screen windows and doors
- take extra precautions when travelling or camping in areas with a higher risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
Mosquito-borne viral infections can cause unpleasant symptoms including:
- fever, chills, headache and muscle pain
- joint swelling, stiffness and pain, especially in the morning
- a rash, usually on the trunk or limbs
- a feeling of tiredness or weakness.
Symptoms usually develop 7-10 days after being bitten and can last for weeks and, in some cases, months.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the best protection is not to get bitten.
“Make sure when you’re outside enjoying a well-earned break that you don’t return home with a nasty infection,” Mr Hazzard said.