Deadly mosquito virus on the rise in Australia


MELBOURNE: There has been a dramatic rise in a deadly mosquito-borne virus in Australia last year, with further outbreaks possible in the next few months.  

The “Medical Journal of Australia’ says three people died and there were 16 confirmed cases of Murray Valley encephalitis in 2011, but no cases reported in 2010.

The report’s author Dr Jack Richards says the virus is endemic to northern Australia but re-emerged in south-eastern Australia last year.

The increase in cases came in the wake of significant regional flooding, with deaths occurring in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

The virus, which causes brain inflammation, is fatal in about 15 to 30 percent of instances, with long-term neurological problems occurring in 30 to 50 per cent of survivors.

There is no cure or vaccine for the condition. – Bernama