Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Hon Kim Hames MB BS JP MLA

Former Minister for Health; Tourism

    Another one bites the dust in mosquito fight

    25/09/2015 12:30 PM
    • Fight the Bite campaign to reduce mosquito-borne disease in WA
    • Most common mosquito-borne viruses are Ross River and Barmah Forest
    • $4 million over four years from the Government to improve mosquito management
    • West Australians urged to cover up, use repellent and remove breeding sites

    Residents of the Peel region are being encouraged to 'Fight the Bite' as part of a new campaign to reduce the mosquito population in the region and the incidence of mosquito-borne disease.


    Launching the Fight the Bite campaign in Mandurah today, Health Minister Kim Hames said mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases placed a heavy human and financial burden on affected individuals, communities and the health-care system.


    "Fight the Bite is about individuals protecting themselves and their families from mosquitoes in three ways - covering up, using repellent and cleaning up areas around the home where mosquitoes can breed," Dr Hames said.


    The Minister said local governments did a 'good job' of managing insect problems in many high-risk parts of Western Australia, and the State Government had supported that work with an extra $4 million over 2013-14 to 2016-17 to strengthen mosquito management programs.


    Dr Hames said the focus of the Fight the Bite campaign was to ensure members of the community were aware of how to reduce the risks and impact associated with mosquito bites.


    "There is no vaccine and no cure for mosquito-borne diseases in WA. The only way to protect yourself is to avoid being bitten," he said.


    "The most common mosquito-borne diseases in WA are Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus, which can lead to lethargy, severe joint swelling and pain that can continue for many weeks and in some cases many months.


    "Added to that, there has been a significant increase in West Australians contracting mosquito-borne diseases while travelling abroad.  More understanding and education is needed to ensure people travelling bring home great memories and not a serious disease."


    The Minister said in the last 12 months more than 500 Western Australian residents had returned from overseas with exotic mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and malaria.


    Fact File

    • About 1,000 people are affected in WA every year by Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus
    • Fight the Bite will be rolled out to other areas of WA in the coming months
    • For more information, visit http://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/fightthebite  

    Minister's office - 6552 5300


    Fight the Bite - Infographic.pdf