Residents across flooded areas on the east coast of Australia have been warned of an increase in mosquitoes, ticks and fleas which could cause nasty illnesses.
Five days of extreme weather caused flooding from Sydney to the Gold Coast, and left two men dead.
The skies cleared across most of New South Wales on Wednesday, but those in flood-affected areas are now bracing for an insect population explosion.
Residents across flooded areas on the east coast of Australia have been warned of an increase in mosquitoes, ticks and fleas which could cause nasty illnesses
An explosion of mosquitoes is expected following extreme rain across NSW and warm weather
‘It’s shaping up to be a pretty pestilent season along the whole east coast,’ David Emery, a professor of veterinary parasitology at the University of Sydney, told Fairfax.
He warned that the warm and wet weather created perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes, ticks and fleas.
‘The rain helps all parasites to survive longer if it hasn’t drowned them in the first place,’ Professor Emery said.
This could also see cases of the Ross River Virus, which occurs when an infected female mosquito feeds on the blood of an infected animal and proceeds to bite a human.
Police head out onto floodwaters to deliver supplies to stranded locals in the Windsor region on March 24
The virus then multiplies within the mosquito and is passed to other animals or people when the mosquito feeds again.
Ross River virus cannot be passed on from human-to-human.
On the coast an increase in paralysis tick numbers is expected, which can be picked up from just being outdoors.
Those with pets are urged to have tick medication on standby in the chance of being bitten.
Tick bites can cause Rickettsial infections, which is caused by bacteria, and lyme disease.
Other insects expected to benefit from the wet weather include dragonflies and buffalo flies, while spider populations balloon due to an abundance of prey.