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Murray Valley encephalitis in Western Australia - Update 1

19 Jul 2023

The Western Australian Department of Health reports a traveller has been admitted to hospital with Murray Valley encephalitis. In 2023, 2 people have from Murray Valley encephalitis in Western Australia. Four other people have also been infected in the Kimberley region in the last 12 months. The Department of Health strongly advises residents and travellers in the Kimberley region to avoid mosquito bites.

Murray Valley encephalitis virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause fever, headache, nausea, rash, muscle and joint pains, rash and fatigue. More seriously, encephalitis (brain inflammation) occurs in some cases. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for MVE.

Advice for Travellers

The risk for most travellers to area with an outbreak of MVE is small. This risk is greater if you will be:

  • participating in outdoor activities in risk areas such as swamps, wetlands and parks, especially during the evening or at night
  • travelling to a risk area for a prolonged period of time

The best way to protect yourself against MVE is by avoiding mosquito bites, especially in the evening when this mosquito is most active.

Before you travel, consider how you will protect yourself from mosquito bites during your trip. This involves:

You should also be aware of how to treat bites if they occur.