Tourist dies of mosquito-borne virus in Australia
May 26, 2011 - 10:59:11 AM
Sydney, May 26 - A 19-year-old Canadian woman has died after contracting a rare and incurable mosquito-borne virus while on holiday in Australia's northern region, officials said.
The department of health in the Northern Territory has issued a warning advising people to avoid being bitten, after the woman became the third person to contract the Murray Valley encephalitis - virus this year, the Australian Associated Press - reported Thursday.
The woman became unwell when she arrived in Canada from a holiday in the Northern Territory this month and was admitted to hospital in Calgary, where she died Wednesday.
Peter Markey, acting director of the Centre for Disease Control, said amongst the three confirmed cases of MVE is a two-year-old child.
Earlier this month, a 27-year-old man died from the disease in South Australia.
Markey said there was no specific medical treatment for MVE.
Unlike other mosquito-borne illnesses, which are not typically fatal, about 25 percent of people who contract MVE die.
Many MVE patients suffer from delirium and coma, leading to paralysis or brain damage.
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