26 September 2023

Horses warned to dodge dodgy mozzies

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The Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA) has warned horse owners not only to protect themselves from potentially fatal mosquito-borne diseases but also to ensure their horses are protected.

According to PIRSA, some test results suggest that a few horses may have been infected with the Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV) or Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV).

PIRSA said the infected horses were reported from the Mount Lofty Ranges, Adelaide Plains, Gawler, Barossa and Mid North regions.

It said there were simple steps all South Australians could do to reduce the risk of mosquito bites and the possible infection to themselves and their horses.

“To protect horses, use mosquito repellent, cover horses or keep them indoors during high mosquito activity – particularly at dawn and dusk and eliminate mosquito breeding areas on your property,” PIRSA said.

“For humans, preventative measures include wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting, long-sleeved clothing; using insect repellent on all exposed skin surfaces in accordance with the directions on the label; limiting outdoor activity between dusk and dawn; fitting mosquito screens to doors, windows, and vents; and eliminating mosquito breeding sites around the house.”

PIRSA said that under recommendation from SA Health, it strongly encouraged eligible people to become vaccinated against the JEV.

The Department said the publicly funded vaccine had been provided to GPs and clinics in eligible locations.

More information about the mosquito-borne diseases can be accessed at this PS News link.

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