Mosquitoes have been found carrying the Kunjin Virus Disease in the Central Highlands.
Mosquitoes have been found carrying the Kunjin Virus Disease in the Central Highlands.

Health boss's warning as virus-carrying mossies found in CQ

A MOSQUITO-borne virus has resurfaced in Central Queensland with health bosses warning residents to "avoid being bitten".

A routine surveillance program identified mosquitoes in the Central Highlands area carrying Kunjin virus.

The virus is closely related to West Nile virus, is spread by the bite of an infect insect and in severe cases can cause inflammation of the brain.

CQ Health's Environmental Health Services manager Paul Florian today said the public should be "alert but not alarmed" at the finding.

"There have been no recorded human cases of Kunjin virus in Central Queensland in the past five years and we'd like to keep it that way," Mr Florian said.

Kunjin virus symptoms vary, with the vast majority of infected people not developing any symptoms.

A small number of people may experience a mild illness with symptoms including fever, headache, muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and rash.

Queensland Health advise some people may experience inflammation of the brain, known as encephalitis; these may include confusion, drowsiness and seizures.

There is no specific treatment for the disease, and those with encephalitis may require hospitalisation.

Further to the east, Rockhampton residents have reported mosquito swarms are rearing in North Rockhampton, Coowonga, Kawana, Berserker and Koongal.

Resident Murray Matook said they were "unbearable" at his home, and he feared he'd contract dengue fever again.

The Rockhampton Regional Council is currently conducting spraying operations.

Tips to prevent the spread of disease:

  • To avoid being bitten, use insect repellents and wear protective, light-coloured long-sleeved clothing, especially at peak mosquito periods around dawn and dusk.
  • Help stop mosquitoes breeding by emptying all water-holding containers such as buckets, old tyres, tarpaulins, pot plant bases, boats, in cans and plastic containers, rainwater tanks with damaged screens, bird baths, drain sumps and fallen palm fronds.