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Health alert – Warning on mosquitoes and Ross River virus in central Victoria – 24 December 2021

Date issued: 24 December 2021

Issued by: Adjunct Clinical Professor Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer

Issued to: Health professionals and the Victorian community residing in or travelling to central Victoria

Key messages

  • Residents and visitors in the central areas of Victoria are being warned to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus.
  • Ross River virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Moira Shire, Campaspe Shire and Greater Shepparton City Council.
  • These viruses can cause symptoms including joint pain and stiffness, headache, fever, rash and fatigue.
  • The best protection from Ross River virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites. Protective measures include regularly using mosquito repellent containing picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin, wearing long, loose fitting clothing when outside, and ensuring accommodation, including tents, are properly fitted with mosquito nettings or screens.
  • Doctors should consider the possibility of mosquito-borne disease in patients presenting with a compatible illness, especially after travel to rural or regional Victoria.
  • A blood test early in the illness can indicate potential acute infection and should be repeated two weeks later for confirmation.
  • A range of information relating to ways to protect against mosquito bites is available on the Beat the Bite campaign page on the Better Health Channel.

Read the full advisory: Health warning on mosquitoes and Ross River virus in central Victoria

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