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Protect yourself from mozzies


Monday 27 November 2017

If you’re heading outside to enjoy the warmer weather make sure you protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes, or mozzies, are not only annoying, they also transmit serious diseases like Ross River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus and Murray Valley Encephalitis Virus.

“People can become very sick from these illnesses for months or even years, so it’s important to take precautions to avoid being bitten in the first place,” said Tracey Watson, Senior Environmental Health Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

The following tips are from the Department of Health and Human Services’ ‘Beat the Bite’ campaign:

• Cover up with loose clothing. Wear long pants, socks and long-sleeved shirts.
• Apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Follow the directions on the product label and take care when using repellents on small children. Avoid parts of children’s hands that may touch their eyes or mouth.
• Control mosquito numbers inside and outside your home. Use anti-mosquito coils or candles outdoors.
• Drain any water left standing outdoors in open containers such as flowerpots, unused tins, tyres, buckets or blocked roof gutters.
• Change your pet’s drinking water at least every week.
• Close doors and windows and repair or seal damaged flywire screens.
• Keep lawns and gardens trimmed back to reduce the areas where mosquitoes rest.
• Limit outdoor activity at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
• Don’t forget to protect yourself and your family from mozzie bites while on holidays.

Repellents come in lotions, gels, aerosols and pump sprays. Repellents containing picaridin or DEET are the most effective when used correctly. Natural repellents (such as Citronella or Eucalyptus) provide only very limited protection.

For more tips on avoiding mosquito bites visit the Better Heath Channel website.

Mosquito image courtesy of the Better Health Channel.

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