City of Albany urges people to be aware of Ross River virus after cases increase in region

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A surge in Ross River virus triggers a warning in Albany.
Camera IconA surge in Ross River virus triggers a warning in Albany. Credit: Unknown

The City of Albany is urging residents and tourists to “fight the bite” after a surge in Ross River virus cases around the region.

They are calling for people to protect themselves against mosquito bites after a combination of warmer weather, rainfall and humidity has created favourable conditions for breeding.

City of Albany manager of public health and safety Scott Reitsema said the community could lower the risk of mosquito bites by covering up and cleaning areas around the home where mosquitoes could breed.

“With this increase of Ross River virus cases in the community, residents must be alert to the symptoms such as painful and swollen joints, sore muscles, skin rashes, fever, fatigue and headaches that can last from weeks to months,” he said.

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“The City can undertake moni-toring and baiting of problem areas, however, public education and awareness is often the best way to control and avoid exposure to disease carrying mosquitoes,

“Therefore, the City continues to promote the Fight the Bite campaign that encourages residents to protect themselves from mosquitoes by providing education on the risk associated with mosquito bites and how to avoid them.”

There is no vaccine or cure for Ross River virus.

Symptoms can ease after several weeks or persist for many months.

While the City implements control measures in mosquito-prone public areas, Mr Reitsema said a growing number of potential breeding locations was making the program challenging.

Around the home, residents can remove, empty or cover water-holding containers to reduce breeding sites at home.

Keeping drains and roof gutters clear can also help.

Farmers are advised to avoid over-irrigation, and keep dams and ground pools free of vegetation.

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