Deputy chief medical officer Sonya Bennett last week announced the Japanese Encephalitis virus, an infectious disease incident of national significance.
Two people have died from the virus, with 15 active cases across the country, encouraging the government to increase vaccine supplies.
Dr Bennett said it was important to note that “JEV” was not a new virus, but it was new to mainland Australia. “We hadn’t anticipated seeing it emerge as quickly as it has across piggeries in four states, and the number of human cases we are now also seeing,” Dr Bennett said on Friday.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said those concerned about the virus should follow “simple steps” to prevent contact with infected mosquitoes. “Such as using repellent containing picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin, wearing loose-fitting clothing when outside, and ensuring that accommodation is properly fitted with mosquito nettings or screens,” he said.