Health warning on Ross River virus, Barmah Forest virus and other mosquito-borne diseases
Date issued: 8 December 2022 (update from 21 November 2022)
Issued by: Associate Professor Deborah Friedman, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Disease)
Issued to: Health professionals and the Victorian community living in or travelling to rural or regional Victoria
- Victorians are advised to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River virus infection and Barmah Forest virus infection this summer.
- Mosquito numbers of species known to transmit diseases are increasing.
- Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus have been detected in mosquitoes in the Campaspe, Horsham and Loddon local government areas.
- Ross River virus and Barham Forest virus are endemic to most areas across Victoria, particularly around inland waterways and coastal regions.
- Symptoms of Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus infection can include headache, fever, chills, 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 live 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 mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites around your home.
- Read the full advisory.