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  • Victorians are warned of infectious mosquito-borne Ross River virus

    Author: AAP

The presence of the infectious mosquito-borne Ross River virus in Victoria's north has prompted a health warning.

Victorians are being warned to protect themselves from mosquito bites after authorities detected Ross River virus in the state's north.

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Chief health officer Charles Guest says the virus has been detected in mosquitoes around Mildura and the Moira Shire, including the Barmah forest.

That's an "early indication" of an increased risk of human disease for summer and early autumn, Professor Guest said in a health warning on Wednesday night.

"The best protection from these diseases is to avoid mosquito bites," he said.


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Cabrini Health
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St Vincent's Private Hospital

Acting Premier James Merlino said on Thursday the government was working with the local councils to control mosquito numbers.

"Those additional resources will go towards things such as trapping mosquitoes to find out the numbers and the types of mosquitoes," he said.

People have been advised to take common sense precautions including:

- wearing loose-fitting clothing
- using effective repellent containing picaridin or DEET
- using netting around tents while camping.

"We're doing as much as we can but people should be aware that given the rain, given the floods, there is a high level of mosquitoes in the environment," Mr Merlino said.

Health Minister Jill Hennessy says 10 councils will for the first time receive funding to stop the spread of mosquito-borne diseases this summer.

A total of 17 councils in high risk and flood-affected areas will partake in $4.6 million allocated for mosquito control and management programs across rural Victoria.


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