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Japanese encephalitis virus contracted in Victoria claims its first victim

<p>Victorians are being warned to protect themselves from mosquito bites after Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) was <a href="">contracted locally for the first time</a>. </p> <p>A Victorian man has died from the virus, the Victorian Department of Health announced yesterday after Australia’s acting chief medical officer declared a national alert about the spread of JEV.</p> <p>The Victorian man, who was from the state's north and aged in his 60s, died on 28th of February. An autopsy has since revealed JEV was the cause of his death, with investigations into how he contracted the virus now underway.</p> <p>The man's death is the first JEV death in the state, while seven cases have been found in the same state this year.</p> <p>Victoria Deputy Chief Health Officer Associate Professor Deborah Friedman said before now JEV had only ever been acquired overseas.</p> <p>"This is the first time that Victoria has ever had locally acquired cases of Japanese encephalitis virus," she said.</p> <p>Associate Professor Friedman called on people to protect themselves against mosquitos, with JEV spread through the bite of an infected insects.</p> <p>Health Minister Martin Foley echoed the same advice, saying "if you're around mosquitos, please cover up".</p> <p>Associate Professor Friedman said mosquito levels were high across the state, particularly in northern Victoria, increasing the risk of infection.</p> <p>Most humans who contract the virus do not experience any symptoms, or only mild symptoms like headaches or fever.</p>


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