Mosquito Warning In The Kimberley

Published on Friday, 18 May 2018 at 7:54:58 AM

The Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley, in partnership with the Department of Health is reminding residents and travellers in the Kimberley region of Western Australia (WA) to take additional precautions to avoid mosquito bites when camping, fishing or undertaking any other activity outdoors.


The warning follows continued evidence of Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE) and Kunjin virus activity in sentinel chicken flocks across the Kimberley.


MVE virus is only carried by mosquitoes. While the risk of being infected and becoming unwell is low, the illness caused by the virus can be severe and even fatal. The only effective protection is to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.


Initial symptoms of MVE in adults and older children include fever, drowsiness, headache, stiff neck, nausea and dizziness. People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical advice quickly. In severe cases, people may experience fits, lapse into a coma, and may be left with permanent brain damage or die. In young children, fever might be the only early sign. Parents should see their doctor if concerned, particularly if their child experiences drowsiness, floppiness, irritability, poor feeding, or general distress.


‘Fight the Bite’ when undertaking outdoor activities, including camping and fishing, by taking these simple steps:


  • avoid outdoor exposure around dawn and early evening
  • wear protective (long, loose-fitting, light-coloured) clothing when outdoors
  • apply an effective personal repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) or picaridin to exposed skin or clothing and always follow the label instructions. Free RID repellent is available at the Shire administration offices in Wyndham and Kununurra
  • ensure infants and children are adequately protected against mosquito bites, preferably with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening
  • when sitting outside, use mosquito coils and mosquito lanterns to deter mosquitoes
  • ensure insect screens are installed and in good condition on houses and caravans and always use mosquito-proof tents when camping
  • if your accommodation or tent is not mosquito-proof, cover your sleeping area with a mosquito net
  • reduce mosquito breeding around your accommodation by removing, emptying or covering anything that holds water.


For more information, contact the Shire Environmental Health Department on 9168 4100 or visit

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