Health Alert: A surge in Ross River virus cases has prompted a warning to people to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Photo: AAP Photo by AP Photo/Andre Penner
Ross River virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Moira Shire, Campaspe Shire and in the City of Greater Shepparton area.
The Victorian Department of Health issued a warning on Christmas Day saying there was an increased risk of people catching the virus from mosquitoes in these areas.
Ross River virus can cause joint pain and stiffness, as well as headaches, fever, skin rashes, and fatigue.
Advice on the department’s website recommends people avoid heavily mosquito-infested areas, including along the Murray River from Gunbower to Yarrawonga, as well as throughout the Shepparton region.
Prevention of Ross River Virus
Advice from the Ministry of Health to protect against mosquito-borne diseases.
– Wear long, loose-fitting clothing when outdoors.
– Use effective mosquito repellents containing picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin.
– Try to limit outdoor activities when there are many mosquitoes around.
– Use “knockdown” fly sprays and plug-in repellent devices indoors.
– Sleep under mosquito nets treated with insecticide if you don’t have screens on your home’s windows or sleep in an untreated tent.
– Sleep under a mosquito net when camping outdoors.
– Mosquito coils can be effective in small outdoor areas where you gather to sit or eat.
The weather conditions in the next month are favorable for the biting and breeding of mosquitoes.
“The best protection against Ross River virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites,” a spokesman for the department said.
“Protective measures include regularly using mosquito repellents containing picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin, wearing long, loose-fitting clothing when outdoors, and ensuring accommodation, including tents, is properly fitted with mosquito netting or fly screens.” “