Asian Tiger mosquitoes found in Melbourne

By Paul Hemsley

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has worked to contain a potential outbreak of Dengue Fever spread by Asian Tiger mosquitoes found in a Melbourne private post entry quarantine centre.

Dengue Fever is a tropical disease that is transmitted to humans via mosquito bites. The disease’s symptoms can range from a mild fever to a potentially life-threatening blood-related illness.

Usually found in Northern Australia, state and federal health authorities are trying to stop the southern spread of the mosquito-borne virus.

According to the DAFF, a bio-security officer found live mosquitoes in two glasshouses Thursday last week during a scheduled inspection of live plants imported from China.

DAFF personnel immediately destroyed the plants and exterminated all the mosquitoes present in the glasshouses.

A DAFF spokesperson said the mosquitoes were subsequently sprayed with a fine insecticide mist under DAFF supervision to exterminate any adult mosquitoes.

“No Asian tiger mosquitoes have been trapped or detected outside the greenhouses, and no live mosquitoes have been found over the weekend,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said DAFF notified the Victorian Department of Health, the federal Department of Health and Ageing and the National Arbovirus and Malaria Advisory Committee (NAMAC) about the finding.

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