Ross River virus is detected by a blood test.
Ross River virus is detected by a blood test. guapofreak

VIRUS WARNING: Disease on the rise across Ipswich

MOSQUITOES have infected 94 residents with diseases this year.

NewsRegional analysis of Queensland health data shows 76 people living in the West Moreton health district were diagnosed with Ross River virus in the past seven months.

Last year 65 residents contracted the disease.

There are also five cases of malaria, eight of dengue fever, four cases of the Barmah Forest virus and one un-named mosquito-borne virus.

Across Queensland, there have been 1830 mozzie-borne virus infections reported in the past seven months, compared to 2462 for the whole of 2016.

Ipswich City Council monitors and treats mosquito habitats and provides community education.

"Pro-actively council inspects locations known to have previously harboured mosquitoes in an effort to ensure breeding is not occurring," Cr Sheila Ireland said.

"Appropriate treatments are carried out where there is any potential breeding.

"Also taken into account in our disaster response planning is mosquito borne disease, an increased risk after flooding.

"Council also has developed and distributes online and in paper form a fact sheet which provides information about mosquitoes and ways to minimise breeding and protect yourself from mosquito bites."

Ross River virus is Australia's main mosquito-borne disease.

There is no vaccine and it costs the Australian economy more than $20 million a year to detect.

The main treatment for the disease is anti-inflammatory medications.

Queensland virologist Professor John Aaskov said infection rates could rise across our region. Prof Aaskov said transmission of the disease in our region was most likely human-mosquito-human rather than animal-mosquito-human.

"At the moment, the only way to stop the disease is to cover yourself up and some of the sunscreens have mosquito repellents in them," he said.

"A pair of thongs, stubbies and a singlet are not going to protect you from mosquitoes. Really, all we can do is avoid getting mosquito bites."

Queensland Health urged those with symptoms to ask their doctor for a blood test.

"Management of the illness generally involves treatment of the symptoms and most people recover without lasting effects," a spokesman said.

"Your doctor will advise on treatment for joint and muscle pains. If diagnosed with a mosquito-borne disease such as Ross River Fever, it is important to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes so your illness is not passed on."

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