Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ross River virus warning for Fraser Coast

Fraser Coast residents are being urged to clean up around their homes and be careful when out and about following the detection of Ross River virus in mosquitoes across the Wide Bay region.

Fraser Coast Regional Council Executive Manager Regulatory Services, Steven Gatt said Council was working with Queensland Health to help identify mosquito-borne viruses, with Ross River virus recently detected in samples taken from local mosquito traps.

“The hot, humid weather and steady rainfall on the Fraser Coast has provided perfect conditions for mosquitoes to boom,” he said.

“That’s why it’s more important than ever for everyone to take precautions to protect themselves and their families from contracting Ross River virus.”

Ross River virus is a virus spread by the bite of an infected mosquito that causes inflammation and pain in multiple joints. The symptoms may include fever with joint pain and swelling which may then be followed by a raised red rash. Joint pain can be severe and last up to six weeks.

Mr Gatt said residents could take simple but effective steps to minimise the risk of mosquito bites.

“Applying insect repellent, wearing loose clothes to cover arms and legs and wearing closed-in shoes can significantly increase protection against mosquito bites,” he said.

“Check out your yards and get rid of possible breeding places such as drip trays under pot plants, old tyres and containers. Empty bird baths and clean thoroughly with a cloth to remove mosquito eggs.

“Keep roof guttering in good condition and regularly remove leaves to stop pools of water from forming.  If it can hold water, then it can breed mosquitoes, and with the warmer temperatures, this is a much faster process.”

Mr Gatt said Council staff were monitoring and treating known breeding sites to reduce mosquito numbers and to kill the mosquito larvae before they take flight.

“Council staff also check light traps weekly to monitor mosquito species in residential areas and treat when needed,” he said.

More information about Ross River virus is available at https://www.qld.gov.au/health/condition/infections-and-parasites/viral-infections/ross-river-virus

More information about preventing mosquito bites is available at https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/all/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.

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