Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Australian dies of rare mosquito-borne disease after visiting Thailand

An Australian man returned from Thailand has died from the rare but potentially fatal mosquito-borne disease, Japanese encephalitis.

The risk of catching the virus is "vanishingly
Steven Tong says. Climate change is
 changing that view.
It is understood to be only the 10th case of the disease recorded in Australia since 2001 and one of only a handful of deaths in that time, although Japanese encephalitis is endemic in South-East Asia, where it is most commonly found in rural or farming areas.

The Victorian man in his 60s had visited Phuket for 10 days in early May and became lethargic on day eight.
After returning home he struggled to stay awake and went to hospital a few days later in a confused state.

Read Anne Barker’s story on ABC News - “Australian dies of rare mosquito-borne disease after visiting Thailand.”

(Mosquito viruses are presently largely regional, suggesting climatic conditions limits their range, or at least the conditions that allow a particular virus to thrive. Climate change is changing all that and the warmer conditions the many deadly viruses prefer are quickly evolving to appear in the most unlikely places and although the difficulty described here by Anne Barker is only found in certain places, it is spreading its influence - Robert McLean

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