Australia: Victoria reports 1st Murray Valley encephalitis virus infection since 1974


news desk Laugh

The Victorian Department of Health reported a case of encephalitis virus in the Murray Valley in a woman in her 60s who died in early February.

Image/Peggy Marco

The case spent time in Buloke Shire and Swan Hill during its acquisition period and was likely infected in early January 2023. This marks the first human case of MVE in Victoria since the last outbreak in 1974.

The risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as Japanese encephalitis (JE), MVE and West Nile virus (Kunjin) infection is rising this summer, particularly in northern Victoria where viruses are being detected in mosquitoes. The risk of human cases in the coming weeks is very high.

Taking measures to avoid mosquito bites is crucial to protecting against infection.

Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches, although most infected people do not have symptoms. In serious cases, people can develop meningitis or encephalitis which can be fatal.

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