WINGED THREAT: Residents are warned to take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes like Aedes notoscriptus, which transmits Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus.
WINGED THREAT: Residents are warned to take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes like Aedes notoscriptus, which transmits Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus.

Coronavirus not the only medical threat to CQ residents

RECENT rainfall in the region has led to another threat to residents.

The rain has meant mosquitoes have swarmed the region, resulting in a threat posed by the Ross River virus, in addition to more publicised COVID-19 pandemic.

In recent weeks on social media, a number of Central Queensland residents have mentioned either suffering from the effects of Ross River virus or knowing someone who was.

A Queensland Health spokesperson said up until the end of March, there had been 26 cases of lab-confirmed Ross River virus in Central Queensland Public Health Unit area for 2020.

This figure was down significantly on the average which was 70 cases by this time of the year in 2019.

Mosquito cells infected with Ross River virus that is green fluorescing.
Mosquito cells infected with Ross River virus that is green fluorescing.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service's Environmental Health Services manager Paul Florian said the only way to stay clear of mosquito-borne viruses was to avoid being bitten.

"Use insect repellents and wear protective, light-coloured long-sleeved clothing, especially at peak mosquito periods around dawn and dusk," Mr Florian said.

"Recent rain has created the potential for mosquito breeding and, given many people are

staying at home at the moment, it's the perfect opportunity to clean up those breeding

grounds to eliminate the source.

"Help stop mosquitoes breeding by emptying all water-holding containers such as buckets,

old tyres, tarpaulins, pot plant bases, boats, in cans and plastic containers, rainwater tanks with damaged screens, bird baths, drain sumps and fallen palm fronds."

More information is available at:

http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/14/217/120/ross-river-virus

Drawing of Ross River virus cycle including flying foxes.
Drawing of Ross River virus cycle including flying foxes.


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