ROSS River virus disease occurs throughout most regions of Australia, particularly around inland waterways and coastal regions. The virus is passed between mosquitoes and certain animals, such as wallabies and kangaroos.
Infected mosquitoes can then bite people, making them unwell. Heavy rainfall, floods, high tides and warm weather increase mosquito numbers, resulting in higher numbers of cases.
Victorians are being warned to protect themselves from mosquito bites with increased numbers of cases of this summer.
Symptoms of Ross River virus can include fever, rash, headache, aching muscles and/or joints and fatigue. People experiencing symptoms should seek medical attention from their GP.
Onset of symptoms may be from 2 to 14 days following a bite from an infected mosquito. There is no evidence that Ross River virus can be spread directly from one person to another.
Mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed, but they also prefer mild, calm, and more humid air to fly and bite.
Everyone is encouraged to wear long, loose fitting clothes and use repellents containing picaridin or DEET on exposed skin.
For ways to beat the bite, visit betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/beat-the-bite.