Japanese Encephalitis Virus Study
Japanese Encephalitis Virus is a rare but potentially serious mosquito-borne illness first detected in Victoria this year. The virus affects the brain and is most commonly spread to humans from pigs via mosquito bites; it cannot be spread from human to human, nor by eating pork. Mosquito numbers are predicted to increase in the warmer months and Campaspe Shire residents are at a heightened risk of contracting the virus because of the region’s agricultural activities and proximity to significant rivers.
The Loddon Mallee Public Health Unit is seeking Rochester district residents for a blood screening project which will paint a clearer picture of the Japanese Encephalitis Virus. In many people, there are few or no JEV symptoms which makes it difficult to map the full extent or impact of the virus locally.
The Department of Health and the LMPHU need to broaden their understanding of the illness so they can plan appropriately for JEV vaccinations and other preventative activities. To achieve this aim, Rochester residents are encouraged to present at Dorevich Pathology, 40-44 Moore St, Rochester, between 8.30am and 3pm Monday to Friday for a free blood test (full results are provided).
For further information, contact the LMPHU on 1800 959 400 or email PHU@bendigohealth.org.au