Ross River Virus detected in Vic mozzies

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The Ross River virus was discovered in mosquitoes in two regional cities in Victoria, leading to a health warning over the summer vacation.

Residences and visitors to the surfing coast of Victoria, Geelong, the Bellarine Peninsula and the Northwest are said to protect themselves from mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses.

The updated health council comes after the Ross River virus was found in mosquitoes in Anglesea near Geelong and Mildura.

In Thursday’s recommendation, Assistant Health Director Annaliese van Diemen said the recent weather and water conditions in these areas have created a favorable environment for mosquitos to bite and breed.

“As COVID-19 restrictions wane, there are more opportunities to travel around Victoria and enjoy more outdoor activities,” she wrote.

“Measures to avoid mosquito bites are therefore a crucial step in protecting against disease.”

Authorities recommend using repellants containing picaridin or DEET, wearing long, loose-fitting clothing outdoors, and ensuring that accommodation, including tents, is properly equipped with nets or screens.

The Ross River Virus can cause symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, headache, fever, rash, and fatigue.

Doctors should consider the possibility of mosquito-borne disease in patients with these symptoms, especially after traveling to rural or regional Victoria.

Any parts of Victoria that are mosquitos can be at risk for Ross River virus, but infections appear to be rare in metropolitan areas outside of the metropolitan areas.

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