Predicted summer mosquito population boom could mean increased disease risk

Mosquitoes can transmit a number of serious human diseases, including Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus and the potentially fatal Murray Valley encephalitis virus.

In recent years rates of these diseases have been low in NSW due to dry weather.

Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley said mosquitoes need water to breed, so emptying water-holding containers in backyards, at least once a week will help reduce mosquito population numbers.

"NSW doesn't have a government-run mosquito control program, so it is important in the Shoalhaven for community members to help limit mosquito breeding habitats during the predicted wet summer," Cr Findley said.

"NSW Health recommends avoiding mosquito bites as the most effective control measure to reduce the risk of diseases they transmit. In NSW, most mosquitoes become active at dawn and dusk, and into the evening.

"To avoid bites, especially during those peak times, cover-up with a loose-fitting long sleeved shirts and long pants when outside and apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin.

"Screens on windows and doors and removing potential mosquito breeding sites are also recommended," she said.

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