Deadly Mosquito-borne Diseases on the Rise in Australia

Deadly Mosquito-borne Diseases on the Rise in Australia

The Project’s Waleed Aly had an awkward moment during an interview with viral immunologist, Dr Ali Zaid, after he asked why he’s frequently targeted by mosquitoes.

Dr Zaid suggested that Aly’s ‘smelly feet’ could be the reason, referring to recent studies that showed certain compounds people release through their odour and sweat attract mosquitoes.

The panel awkwardly burst out into laughter, leaving Aly lost for words.

The interview ended shortly after.

The rise of mosquitos in Australia due to unseasonably wet weather is concerning, as it has led to an increase in deadly mosquito-borne diseases such as Murray Valley Encephalitis.

Dr Zaid stressed the importance of monitoring symptoms after being bitten, as the disease can progress to the more severe form of the pathology, which can lead to death.

He recommended applying mosquito repellent, avoiding areas that attract mosquitos such as wet areas or standing water, and wearing long-sleeve clothing for protection against mosquitoes.

In recent news, a Victorian man aged in his 70s died of Murray Valley Encephalitis after potentially being exposed to infectious mosquitoes in the northern Campaspe Shire, according to the state’s health department.


Two women in their 60s also died from the disease last month.

The virus has re-emerged in Victoria’s north for the first time in nearly 50 years, with infected mosquitoes found in Mildura, Swan Hill, Campaspe, Indigo and Wangaratta.

Severe flooding in late 2022 has provided ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes that carry the virus.

There is no vaccine against Murray Valley Encephalitis, and people are being urged to reduce the risk of mosquito bites.

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