Child dies from mosquito-borne disease in the Northern Territory
A child has died after contracting a mosquito-borne disease in the Northern Territory.
The child died from Murray Valley encephalitis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease that occurs after being bitten by an infected mosquito, in the Big Rivers region.
NT Health said the death is one of two recent cases of Murray Valley encephalitis in the region – both being in infants.
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There have been four cases of Murray Valley encephalitis in the Top End this year.
The death and rise in cases have sparked a warning for Territorians and tourists to protect themselves and children from mosquitoes.
Murray Valley encephalitis can be fatal in about 30 per cent of cases.
"The symptoms of MVE include severe headaches, high fever, drowsiness, tremor, seizures (especially in young children), and in some cases the disease can progress to delirium, coma, permanent brain damage or death," NT Health said.
The only way to prevent the disease is by avoiding mosquito bites.
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NT Health urges people to use protective repellants, wear protective clothing and avoid outdoor exposure around dusk, dawn and at night in areas with dense vegetation.
The authority also advises using mosquito coils, lanterns or barrier sprays in outdoor spots and mosquito-proof nettings over prams and strollers.
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