Murray Valley encephalitis is a rare illness caused by a virus, and a person can become infected if bitten by a mosquito that is carrying the virus. Most reported cases of Murray Valley encephalitis - which can be severe, and even fatal - have occurred in northern Australia or Papua New Guinea.
Symptoms and diagnosis
The mild symptoms of Murray Valley encephalitis include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. More severe symptoms may include drowsiness, confusion, neck stiffness, and possibly seizures. Infants may also become irritable or drowsy.
Murray Valley encephalitis treatment and prevention
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Murray Valley encephalitis. Therefore, it's especially important to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
To lessen your chance of being bitten by mosquitoes (as well as midges), cover up as much skin as possible and stay inside in the early morning or at dusk. Screen living areas, and make sure you use an insect repellent when you are outside and there are mosquitoes around.
- Download healthdirect's infographic guide to mosquito bites.
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Last reviewed: January 2017