Vaccine roll out for JEV

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Moira Shire has been named a critical region in the fight against Japanese encephalitis virus with people living and working in the area urged to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the infection spread by mosquitoes before the warmer months.

Acting CEO Brant Doyle said the eligibility criteria had been expanded to give specific priority groups the vaccine for free, including those who may be exposed to the virus at work.

“Those eligible include people aged between 50 and 65 who work in a role that is largely outdoors, specifically those who spend more than four hours outdoors each day,” Mr Doyle said.

“Japanese encephalitis virus can cause a rare, potentially serious infection of the brain and is spread to humans by mosquito bites.

“Most people will have no symptoms, but one per cent of people may experience a fever and headache, which can develop into a serious disease.

“Victoria recorded its first-ever case of Japanese encephalitis virus earlier this year.”

Mr Doyle said Council was urging people who fit the criteria to fill out a simple Expressions of Interest form to indicate whether they wished to be vaccinated.

“This information will be critical in helping us determine the amount of vaccine we need as well as the amount and location of immunisation sessions we will need to organise,” he said.

“You can find the Expression of Interest form on our website or phone our friendly Customer Experience team to request a hard copy.”

In addition to the vaccine, there are simple steps those at risk can take to protect themselves from mosquito bites, including wearing long, loose-fitting clothing outdoors, using mosquito repellents with active ingredients such as picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin and limiting outdoor activity if lots of mosquitoes are present.

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