The Growing Mosquito Problem In Australia
A combination of powerful tides and warm air has turned Australia into the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The Australian mosquito population has seen a huge increase over the last year; to the point that the local authorities are advising people to take extra precautions to protect themselves. Mosquitoes might seem like little more than a nuisance, but they have the potential to carry some pretty nasty diseases.
Why The Sudden Increase?
This year has seen record numbers in regard to the mosquito population, but why? It’s actually a combination of several different factors. For starters, the mosquito population was already pretty large. Mosquitoes love the weather here and it’s only getting better for them. Combine this warm weather with massive king tides and the problem begins to grow.
The combination of weather and tides has lead some cities to take extra steps to control the population. Brisbane, for example, has initiated its largest mosquito control effort in 15 years. This isn’t just so that people aren’t irritated by mosquitoes, but so they aren’t put at risk by the diseases the mosquitoes could carry. Brisbane city certainly isn’t the only region being affected by the rise in the mosquito population.
Unfortunately, the problem is just as bad near the center of the continent as well. Alice Springs has seen more than 200 mm of rain, which has led to some houses being nearly fully submerged in water. This is a problem in its own right, but as most of the rain leaves, there will still be many standing pools that remain.
These lifeless pools of water soon become stagnant breeding grounds for large swarms of mosquitoes. Much like Brisbane, Alice Springs is doing all that it can to control this growing problem while advising residents to do everything they can to protect themselves.
What Are The Risks?
The local governments wouldn’t put in so much effort if there weren’t some serious risks to consider. Mosquitoes can be host to a large variety of diseases, some that even result in coma, brain damage, and death. Australia is home to some pretty nasty diseases that aren’t as common anywhere else in the world, which make the problem all the more severe.
Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus (MVEV) is one of the biggest concerns accompanying the new mosquito problem. It’s already a serious problem in the northern regions of Australia and authorities are worried the mosquito population could cause it to spread. MVEV can lead to permanent brain damage and even death.
The spread of MVEV is already a problem during particularly rainy times. The spread often follows monsoon season because the Murray-Darling river floods. The mosquito population is likely a leading factor during these times. Most MVEV infections don’t lead to disease symptoms, but it’s still a serious concern and a good reason to protect yourself.
The Ross River virus (RRV) is more common than MVEV and a second risk that accompanies the mosquito problem. When transferred by mosquitoes it becomes the Ross River Fever. Ross River Fever can lead to symptoms resembling influenza and arthritis. It doesn’t lead to death, but it is believed it can lead to the development of symptoms that could last for years.
Ross River Fever can only be spread by mosquitoes. That means the best way to protect yourself from this condition is to protect yourself from the mosquitoes. The local governments are doing a lot of work, such as spraying more than 4,400 hectares of land, but there’s still more you can do yourself.
Protecting Yourself From Mosquitoes.
If you want to avoid these diseases and the other risks associated with mosquitoes in Australian, then you need to do everything you can to avoid mosquito bites. Luckily, protecting yourself from mosquitoes isn’t incredibly difficult. There are a lot of products on the market designed just for this sort of thing along with some simple things you can do yourself to stay out of harm’s way.
Clothes are your best protection against biting mosquitoes. Long sleeve clothes and pants will protect your skin. If any skin isn’t protected by clothing, then you should be using a high-quality repellent on those areas. Candles and coils designed to repel mosquitoes are also recommended if you’re staying in one spot.