Redlands Coast on mozzie watch

Redlands Coast residents have been urged to take care when cleaning up after the deluge as Redland City Council crews work to minimise the risk from mosquitoes.

Redland City Mayor and chair of the Redland Local Disaster Management Group Karen Williams said wet conditions and localised flooding had produced ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed, as well as for the growth of potentially harmful mould.

She said taking precautions was even more important with Queensland Health confirming there was a case of Japanese Encephalitus Virus (JEV) in Queensland, a disease carried by mosquitos. The case had recently travel in regional southern Queensland and is being treated in a Brisbane hospital.

“Council crews are busy in the field doing mosquito control work and checking public fresh water sites for mosquito breeding,” Cr Williams said.

“There is a lot of water around at the moment, but as they identify breeding sites our crews will conduct drone treatments, as well as head into areas by foot, quad bike and amphibious vehicle to spray.

“Japanese Encephalitus Virus (JEV) is not spread directly from person to person and is only transmitted by specific types of mosquito species. Thankfully, it is not transmitted by our most prevalent mosquito species.

“I encourage everyone to take the necessary steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes to prevent all types of mosquito-transmitted diseases, including Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus.

“Check your yards and empty water pooling in items such as pot plant bases, boats and old tyres. And if you are outside during peak activity periods at dusk and dawn, please use insect repellent and wear light-coloured, long, loose-fitting clothing as a precaution.”

Cr Williams said that while mould was not usually a problem for most people, it could present issues for people with respiratory problems, compromised immune systems and the elderly.

“There is a wealth of information on dealing with mould on the Queensland Health website, which advises homeowners who are concerned they may be affected to open all doors and windows and, if possible, use fans or air-conditioners on dry mode to get rid of any moisture,” Cr Williams said.

While mould can sometimes be easy to see because of the colour it causes on walls, ceilings and other surfaces, it can also invisible and detected by its musty, unpleasant odour.

Queensland Health advises residents who find mould in their home to wear protective clothing including gloves, a mask and goggles.

Cr Williams said it was also important that residents took extra care when cleaning up around inundated properties as the floodwater could be contaminated.

“It’s important that we continue to prioritise our health and safety, so before starting any clean-up, check with your GP to ensure you’re up to date with your tetanus shot,” Cr Williams said.

“To reduce the risk of infection and disease, also remember to regularly wash your hands and wear protective clothing such as long-sleeve shirts, eye-wear, gloves and rubber boots.”

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