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Murray Valley encephalitis in Australia - Northern Territory

20 Feb 2023

According to media, Northern Territory Health has reported the death of a person from Murray Valley encephalitis (MVE). The person is believed to have become infected in Darwin, although no further details are given. 

Murray Valley encephalitis virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause fever, headache, nausea, rash, muscle and joint pains, rash and fatigue. More seriously, encephalitis (brain inflammation) occurs in some cases.

Advice for Travellers

The risk for most travellers to area with an outbreak of MVE is small. This risk is greater if you will be:

  • participating in outdoor activities in risk areas such as swamps, wetlands and parks, especially during the evening or at night
  • travelling to a risk area for a prolonged period of time

The best way to protect yourself against MVE is by avoiding mosquito bites, especially in the evening when this mosquito is most active.

Before you travel, consider how you will protect yourself from mosquito bites during your trip. This involves:

You should also be aware of how to treat bites if they occur.

The is no vaccine or specific treatment for MVE.