Date issued: 21 November 2022
Issued by: Associate Professor Deborah Friedman, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Disease)
Issued to: Health professionals and the Victorian community residing in or travelling to coastal or inland Victoria
- Victorians are being warned to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus this summer.
- Recent flooding and heavy rainfall have increased mosquito breeding both inland and in coastal areas.
- Mosquito numbers are already high and expected to increase.
- Ross River virus is endemic to most areas across Victoria, particularly around inland waterways and coastal regions.
- Symptoms of Ross River virus disease can include headache, fever, rash, joint pain and stiffness, muscle pain and fatigue.
- Clinicians should consider the possibility of mosquito-borne diseases in patients presenting with a compatible illness, especially those who reside in or have travelled 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.
- The most effective way to reduce your risk of Ross River virus infection and other mosquito-borne diseases is by avoiding mosquito bites and removing mosquito breeding sites around your home.
- Read the full advisory.