Mildura Rural City Council’s routine mosquito monitoring program has detected Ross River virus in samples taken from the Psyche Pumps area this week.
The Victorian Department of Health confirmed the positive test results today.
Council’s Manager Development Services Andrew Millen said the detection was a timely reminder to take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites this summer, particularly those who may be camping in the popular Psyche Pumps and King’s Billabong areas.
Steps to avoid mosquito bites include:
- wearing long, loose-fitting clothing, as mosquitos can bite through tight-fitting clothing
- using repellents containing DEET or picaridin on all exposed skin
- ensuring you have flyscreens on all windows and self-closing wire screens on doors.
Mr Millen said residents could also take a few simple precautions around their homes to avoid potential mosquito breeding sources, such as removing stagnant water, which can help stem the potential spread of Ross River virus.
“Many regular household or backyard items commonly hold stagnant water, making them potential breeding sources, including flowerpots, tyres, buckets, tins, bird baths and pet bowls,” he said.
“It’s good practice, particularly after it’s rained, to regularly remove any stagnant water from these items on a weekly or fortnightly basis.”
Other tips include emptying children’s wading ponds when not in use, and keeping fishponds stocked with fish.
Ross River virus is spread by mosquito bites and can cause joint inflammation and pain, fatigue and muscle aches. Many people also develop a rash. Most people recover from Ross River virus within three to six months, though some people may have intermittent symptoms for a year or more.