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Virus found in Moama

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December 21, 2016

People are being urged to protect themselves against mosquitoes after Ross River virus was detected in Moama.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District public health acting director Alison Nikitas said the state’s arbovirus monitoring program had recently detected an arboviral isolate of Ross River virus.

‘‘It is unusual to see arboviruses detected in mosquitoes this early in the season,’’ Ms Nikitas said.

‘‘While we still have plenty of water lying around after the floods and the weather stays warm, mosquitoes will continue to breed and may be carrying Ross River virus and possibly even other viruses such as Barmah Forest virus and the more serious viruses such as Kunjin and Murray Valley encephalitis.

‘‘These infections can cause symptoms including tiredness, rash, fever, and sore and swollen joints.’’

Murray River Council’s interim general manager Margot Stork said recent heavy rain and warm weather had created the perfect conditions for mosquito breeding.

‘‘Naturally, as the weather heats up people spend more time outdoors, so we’re asking them to take simple measures to guard themselves against potential mosquito-borne diseases,’’ Ms Stork said.

‘‘Householders should ensure that insect screens fitted to doors and windows are in good condition. As mosquitoes can hatch quickly, water containers around the home should be emptied at least once a week.’’

Ms Stork said conditions were set to continue. She said anyone with questions about mosquito control programs should not hesitate to get in contact with council.

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