Public Health Unit

Public Health Unit

The Loddon-Mallee Public Health Unit (LMPHU) provides a range of communicable disease prevention, control and response services to the region.

What is the Public Health Unit?

The Public Health Unit was funded and created under the direction of the Department of Health in response to the pandemic in the Loddon Mallee region.

Initially focused on COVID contact tracing, case management and outbreak control, the role of the unit has broadened to encompass testing, vaccination, prevention & population health and community partnership and engagement activity.

 

Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)

Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is a rare but potentially serious mosquito-borne illness first detected in Victoria this year. The virus affects the brain and is most commonly spread to humans from pigs via mosquito bites; it cannot be spread from human to human, nor by eating pork.

Mild symptoms include the following: 

  • fever
  • headache

More severe symptoms can include: 

  • neck stiffness
  • disorientation
  • seizures

In many people, however, there are few or no symptoms making it difficult to map the extent or impact of the virus locally. Anyone experiencing symptoms, particularly if they’ve visited northern and north-west Victoria, the Murray River and its surrounds should seek urgent medical attention.

There have been nine confirmed and three probable human cases of JE virus in Victoria (as of July 2022). More information can be found at https://www.health.vic.gov.au/infectious-diseases/information-for-the-public-japanese-encephalitis-in-victoria

Visit Beat the Bite for more information on how to protect yourself.

Monkeypox (MPX)

Monkeypox (MPX) is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Since mid-May 2022 there have been cases of MPX reported from multiple countries that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, and local transmission has occurred in these countries.

Symptoms can include: 

  • rash
  • fever/chills
  • muscle aches
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • exhaustion

MPX may be spread from person-to-person through skin-to-skin contact, contact with contaminated surfaces or items, and respiratory droplets. Local transmission is occurring in Australia, and anyone developing symptoms that may be consistent with MPX should seek medical care.

While the current outbreak has disproportionately impacted men who have sex with men, it is important to note that MPX can affect anyone who comes into prolonged contact with someone with MPX.

For more information visit https://www.health.vic.gov.au/infectious-diseases/monkeypox

Resources

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