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Ross River Virus on the rise

Posted 26 June 2009 by (Hurstville News)

“Theres a concern for residents who live in or near bushlands and wetlands,” said Hurstville Mayor, Clr Vince Badalati. “Its very important that people know what precautions to take and how to effectively limit the number of infections of Ross River Virus.”

Ross River Virus is spread by certain types of mosquitoes, including those that breed in saltmarshes. The warm summer weather can contribute to an increase in mosquito numbers, and as holiday season is approaching, people are spending more time outside in close contact with mosquitoes.

Symptoms of Ross River Virus infection include joint aches and pain, fever, chills, headaches and sometimes a rash, which usually disappears after 7-10 days. There is no specific treatment so the best way to avoid becoming infected is to avoid mosquito bites in peak season.

To avoid mosquito bites:

  • Avoid mosquito habitats such as bushlands and wetlands during peak mosquito activity at dusk and dawn
  • Wear light coloured, loose fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs when outside
  • Use an insect repellent that contains DEET or Picaridin
  • Ensure fly screens are fitted on windows and doors and are in good repair
  • Remove mosquito breeding sites from around the home such as undrained pot plants, blocked gutters, discarded containers and overgrown ponds.

“Monitoring of mosquito populations and virus levels over the peak summer months will be crucial, and Hurstville City Council will be working closely with the Public Health Unit and also keeping a close watch on Ross River Virus notifications,” said Clr Badalati.

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For more information, contact:
Paul Spyve, Manager, Customer Relations: 9330 6008, 0411 748 953
Stewart Heaney, Communications Officer, 9330 6036