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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Tackling mosquitoes together in Ballina

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Mosquito in action. Screenshot from Tackling Mosquitoes Together short film.

Following its successful launch late last year, Northern Rivers councils and the North Coast Public Health Unit are once again running Tackling Mosquitoes Together, a behaviour change program to reduce the disease risks and nuisance of mosquitoes in homes and local communities.

Tackling Mosquitoes Together encourages households to take action by reducing backyard mosquito breeding habitats, and through personal protection.

Residents who sign up to the free SMS program will receive helpful tips and reminders to protect themselves and their family from mosquitoes. The text messages include videos, images and common mozzie myth busters.

The SMS program will commence on Saturday 23 October and will run for six weeks, concluding on Saturday 27 November 2021.

Beyond the bite

Ballina Shire Council’s Environmental Health Officer, Ms Kristy Bell, said the most common mosquito-borne diseases in the Northern Rivers are Ross River Virus and Barmah Forrest Virus.

Another mozzie snapped in the act.

‘They are not fatal, but they can cause serious illness and have long-term health impacts,’ said Ms Bell.

In 2020, the Northern NSW Local Health District reported 429 cases of Ross River Virus.

That is the second highest number of cases on record, up from an average of 135 cases a year over the last 30 years.

‘The impacts of climate change and severe wet weather events are increasing the risks of mosquito-borne disease,’ added Ms Bell. ‘If we all do our bit in our own backyard, we can make a difference and help protect the community.’

Tackling Mosquitoes Together has been co-designed with community, councils and other key stakeholders, with the support of state and local government.

Residents who sign up will receive a free education pack and mozzie repellent. Register before Friday 22 October 2021 to be in the running to win one of four farmers’ market vouchers worth $50 each!

Visit www.tacklingmosquitoestogether.com.au to join the program, and check out the short film below to learn more about how to control mosquitoes in the Northern Rivers.

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