BEWARE BITES | Another mozzie health warning

Mosquito: People are being urged to protect themselves against mosquitoes carrying the Ross River virus. Picture: File

Mosquito: People are being urged to protect themselves against mosquitoes carrying the Ross River virus. Picture: File

People living near or visiting the Georges River are being urged to take extra precautions against mosquito bites, following more detections of the Ross River virus.

The mosquito-borne virus was detected on three occasions this month during trappings of the mosquito Aedes vigilax around the Illawong and Picnic Point areas of the Georges River.

The virus causes fever, headaches, chills and stiffness in the muscles and joints, and though it usually resolves within 10 days some patients experience symptoms for months.

The warning is particularly important for people enjoying outdoor activities, such as camping or fishing.

The South Eastern Sydney Local Health District released a warning in January about the virus and reissued the same warning again this month.

District public health director Professor Mark Ferson said continuing high tides may promote further breeding of mosquitoes, which has been breeding in high numbers since similar tides at the end of December.

“Barmah Forest virus and Ross River virus are spread by mosquitoes that feed on infected animals.

“Symptoms may include tiredness, rash, fever, and sore and swollen joints. While these symptoms usually subside after several days, some people may experience symptoms for weeks, or even months,” Professor Ferson said.

“There’s no specific treatment for these viruses. The best way to avoid infection is to avoid being bitten.”

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