South Australians are being warned to protect themselves from mosquito bites, after a potentially-deadly mosquite-borne virus was discovered in a chicken.

SA Health issued the alert on Wednesday following the discovery in Meningie where a chicken tested positive for Kunjin and Murray Valley encephalitis.

Both diseases are potentially-deadly with no vaccine or cure for either.

Symptoms of Murray Valley encephalitis include a fever, headache and nausea, however, many people who become infected do not experience symptoms at all.

SA Health is reminding South Australians to insure themselves against the viruses by avoiding being bitten in the first place.


South Aussies have been advised to reduce the risk of a bite by removing mosquito breeding sites around the home, wearing long, loose-fitting clothing, light-coloured clothing and using insect repellant that contains DEET or picaridin.

No cases of Murray Valley encephalitis have been detected in South Australia for the past 20 years.

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