Having an allergic reaction to an insect sting is a very common occurrence in Australia. In fact, insect stings are the leading cause of fatal allergic reactions in Australia, killing three people each year.
These reactions can range from mild to life-threatening. The best way to avoid having an allergic reaction to an insect sting is to wear long, loose clothing and to use a mosquito repellent. You can also wear a fly screen to prevent the adult mosquitoes from entering your home.
Mosquitoes can transmit a number of diseases to humans, including malaria, Murray Valley encephalitis, Dengue fever, Barmah Forest virus disease and Zika virus. Although malaria is the most deadly mosquito borne disease, other mosquito-borne illnesses are also prevalent.
Mosquitoes are found in every continent except Antarctica. Their bites are a major concern, as they are able to get right underneath your skin.
The World Health Organisation recommends using a mosquito repellent, or covering up, when you are outside. Although topical repellents are not recommended for children under three months of age, they may be used for adults.
To protect against mosquitoes, you should also use physical barriers such as fly screens or remove possible mosquito breeding sites. You can also carry a mobile phone in case of emergencies.
The federal Health Department is investigating nine confirmed cases of JEV nationally, as well as more suspected cases. The Encephalitis Society is calling for greater awareness of JEV, and for people to get vaccinated.