The Western Australian Department of Health issued a warning for march flies this month. Due to record amounts of rainfall paired with warm temperatures brought about by a ‘tropical low’ in Western Australia, march flies have been breeding and pose a significant risk to people in the areas.
A number of people have reported severe allergic reactions after being bitten by the insects, Dr Jay Nicholson, Medical Entomologist at the Western Australian Department of Health, said. Symptoms include hives, fever, wheezing, difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis. And the worst-hit areas appear to be the City of Karratha and the Shire of Ashburton in the Pilbara.
"So far we've had about five to six confirmed reports, but there are also a number of anecdotal reports coming through," Dr Nicholson added.
Back in September, ITIJ reported on the heightened risk of vector-borne tropical diseases that increasing global temperatures would bring. This latest risk posed to travellers by march flies in Australia is also greatly increased by rising temperatures. Insurers should be wary of this when considering travel risk management strategies and the impact this has on insurance and assistance cover.