Barmah Forest virus has been detected in mosquitoes trapped at Narrabeen Lagoon.

Northern Beaches Council has advised residents to take extra precautions against mosquitoes after the detection of Barmah Forest virus at Narrabeen Lagoon as part of a regular mosquito monitoring program.

Barmah Forest virus is spread by the bite of infected female mosquitoes. The virus is not spread directly from person to person.

Many people who are infected will not develop symptoms but some people may develop flu-like symptoms which include fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, stiffness and pain, especially in the mornings. Some people may also develop a rash or feeling of tiredness or weakness.

Symptoms usually develop around 7-10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. There is currently no vaccine against Barmah Forest virus but simple steps can protect against being bitten and contracting the disease:

  • Always wear long, loose-fitting clothing to minimise skin exposure
  • Choose and apply a repellent that contains either Diethyl Toluamide (DEET), Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
  • Be aware of peak mosquito times at dawn and dusk
  • Remove potential mosquito breeding sites from around the home, such as standing water in containers, birdbaths, children’s toys and pot-plant trays

Northern Beaches Council partners with NSW Health to trap mosquitoes at key locations on the Northern Beaches. The monitoring program measures the numbers and types of mosquitoes present and determines if they are carrying viral infections.

Mosquito traps are set at Warriewood Wetlands and Deep Creek near the Narrabeen Lagoon trail. Higher than average rainfall has created ideal conditions for mosquitoes to multiply, with numbers up on previous years.

Visit NSW Health for more tips on how to control mosquitoes around the home and fact sheets on specific mosquito-borne diseases, such as Barmah Forest virus. For further information on what Council is doing to reduce the risk of mosquitoes, you can view the Northern Beaches Council Mosquito Management Plan.

Image: Envato

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