Ross River virus spike prompts mosquito warning across NSW Riverina
Fri , jan 6 2017
New South Wales Health authorities renew warnings for residents and holiday makers in the state's Riverina region to protect themselves against mosquitoes after a fivefold increase in the number of Ross River virus infections compared to the average in previous years.
NSW Public Health Director Tracey Oakman said there were 34 cases of the virus in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District in December, five times the average for this time of year.
"The highest number of notifications have been in the 45- to 65-year-old age group and then the next age group most commonly notified is the 25- to 44-year-old age group," she said.
The city of Griffith has been flagged as a hotspot for the virus, with seven cases reported in the region last month.
Ms Oakman also said a number of holiday makers in the Riverina who contracted the disease were unlikely to have been picked up in the latest figures.
"If we've got holiday makers that have been bitten and gone home, they'll be recorded as having the virus from the postcode that they're living in," she said.
Ms Oakman said the numbers were concerning and she urged people to be vigilant, use quality mosquito repellents and wear long clothing.