Ross River virus warning for Kwinana residents

PIC: City of Kwinana

The City of Kwinana and the Health Department are urging residents to take extra precautions to avoid being bitten after a report showed a higher number of mosquitoes in The Spectacles region.

The City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said during the five day lockdown, some residents were choosing to spend their allocated hour of exercise time outdoors.

"Even if you aren't within The Spectacles, but you are outdoors in the region, you are at risk of contracting this mosquito-borne disease," she said. 

While the Spectacles is located in the City of Kwinana, the land itself is managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. 

Mayor Adams said that land ownership and responsibility posed a challenge for the City, which is currently investigating appropriate mosquito management options for the area, in collaboration with the Department of Health and other relevant agencies.

"Management of the mosquito population is only one part of the puzzle," she said.

"Given there is currently no vaccine or specific treatment for RRV disease, and the only way to prevent infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, we are urging residents to take extra precaution at the moment."

Symptoms of RRV disease can last for weeks to months, and include painful or swollen joints, sore muscles, skin rash, fever, fatigue and headaches.

The only way to diagnose the disease is by visiting your doctor and having a specific blood test. 

Individuals within the City are encouraged to take the following precautions to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Avoid outdoor exposure, particularly at dawn and early evening
  • Wear protective clothing (long, loose fitting, light coloured) when outdoors
  • Apply effective personal repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) or picaridin evenly to all areas of exposed skin and always follow the label instructions
  • Ensure infants and children are adequately protected against mosquito bites, preferably with suitable clothing, bed nets or other forms of insect screening
  • Remove water holding containers from around the home and garden to ensure mosquitoes do not breed in your own backyard; use mosquito coils and mosquito lanterns and apply barrier sprays containing bifenthrin in patio and outdoor areas around houses
  • Ensure insect screens are installed and in good condition on houses and caravans and
  • Use mosquito nets and mosquito-proof tents if sleeping outside. 

For more information about mosquito prevention visit: https://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Healthy-living/Prevent-mosquito-bites

 

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