Murray Valley Encephalitis warning
NSW Health is warning residents and visitors in western NSW to take extra precautions to protect themselves from mosquitoes following the detection of Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE).
The disease is caused by a viral infection that affects some waterbird species, and is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. Most people with this infection remain completely well while others may only develop a mild illness with fever. A small proportion of those infected develop a severe brain infection called encephalitis.
MVE usually occurs in remote north-western Australia. In south-eastern Australia, MVE is occasionally seen when heavy rainfall, flooding and hot weather favour bird and mosquito breeding.
People who have visited or live in or around wetlands or rivers are most likely to be at risk. The Murray-Darling basin is sometimes affected but mosquitoes with the virus may also live in other rivers and wetlands around NSW.
For more information on how to avoid MVE, its symptoms and treatment, see the NSW Health Murray Valley Encephalitis fact sheet.
Page last updated: 09 March 2011