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Diseases carried by Australian mosquitoes

DISEASES CARRIED BY AUSTRALIAN MOSQUITOES

ROSS RIVER VIRUS

WHAT

* The most common mosquito-borne disease in Australia, it induces flu-like symptoms including muscle and joint pain, fever, swelling and fatigue which can last weeks or months.

WHERE

* Australia-wide

HOW

* Ross River virus is transmitted to humans by more than 40 species of mosquitoes from infected kangaroos and wallabies.

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BARMAH FOREST VIRUS

WHAT

* Similar to Ross River virus, it causes joint pain and flu-like symptoms.

WHERE

* Australia-wide

HOW

* Kangaroos and wallabies.

Murray Valley encephalitis

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MURRAY VALLEY ENCEPHALITIS/KUNJIN VIRUS

WHAT

* A rare but potentially fatal disease, in most people it causes no illness (or a mild one) but can lead to a severe brain infection with symptoms including seizures, delirium and coma. Kunjin virus is a milder form of the disease.

WHERE

*Northern parts of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, particularly during the wet season.

HOW

* Transmitted by mosquitoes from water birds such as herons.

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DENGUE FEVER

WHAT

* A fever from three to seven days, intense headache and After infected, a person becomes immune to that type of Dengue.

WHERE

* Occasional outbreaks in Far North Queensland, cases are usually diagnosed in people who have recently visited parts of Asia.

HOW

* Carried by the aedes aegypti mosquito which breeds in or near homes, it is transmitted when the mosquito bites another person with Dengue fever.

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MALARIA

WHAT

* Caused by five types of plasmodium (single-celled parasites), flu-like symptoms can reappear months or years later and infection by Falciparum malaria is potentially life-threatening.

WHERE

* Australia was declared malaria-free in 1981 however several hundred cases are reported each year among travellers to regions endemic with the disease.

HOW

* Carried by a Anopheles mosquito which has bitten another person with malaria.

© AAP 2020

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