Kalbarri identified as a Ross River virus hotspot as Mid West region warned of increased risk

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Liam BeattyMidwest Times
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Increased mosquito activity across the Mid West has prompted a warning from the Department of Health as cases of the Ross River virus more than double.

Acting managing scientist Dr Abbey Potter said residents in the region needed to take extra care to avoid mosquito bites in the coming months.

“Recent rainfall and increased tidal activity, combined with warm weather, is likely to result in higher mosquito numbers over the coming weeks,” she said.

She said the increased mosquito activity was likely to be the result of La Nina conditions which produces increased rainfall over WA.

The Department of Health has recorded 15 cases between July 1 and November 6. The five-year average for the same period is six.

Most of the cases have been reported in Kalbarri, but the department is advising travellers and residents from Jurien Bay to Denham to avoid mosquito bites.

“Significant Ross River virus activity tends to cycle every three to five years,” Dr Potter said.

“Consistent with this trend, the last time Kalbarri recorded a similar number of cases was 2014 and prior to that 2010.”

Northampton Shire CEO Garry Keeffe said management options were being explored but individuals living in or travelling to the Shire needed to take their own precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

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