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Health Warning Released For Victoria As Virus Cases Shoot Up

Victoria is experiencing its worst outbreak of the Ross River virus in at least a decade.

The Department of Health and Human Services have released data that shows the 654 cases diagnosed from January 1 - 30 this year is more than 20 times higher than the last outbreak in 2011.

In the equivalent January period there were 32 notifications in 2011 with 1330 cases for the year.

The average number of Ross River virus cases each year is 252.

Victoria’s chief health officer Charles Guest has issued a warning for people to take extra care against Ross River, saying “The number of Ross River virus notifications being made to the department this year-to-date is the largest that Victoria has seen compared to equivalent periods in the preceding 10 years,”

“Given the unprecedented number of notifications that have been made to the department so far this year, we expect that the magnitude of this year’s outbreak will be larger than the outbreak observed in 2011.

“All parts of Victoria where there are mosquitoes may carry a risk for Ross River virus infection, although the risk is greatest in rural and regional Victoria,” he said.

Symptoms of Ross River come after being bitten by a mosquito, if you are infected you may experience joint swelling, pain, fatigue and muscle aches.

It takes three to nine days for symptoms of Ross River virus disease to occur after exposure, and sometimes up to 21 days, he said.

If you have any concerns about your health phone Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.

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