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Ross River virus activity in The Spectacles

Ross River virus activity in The Spectacles
12 January 2024

Residents and travellers are reminded to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites over the coming months.

Ross River virus (RRV) has been detected in mosquitoes in the City of Kwinana for the first time this year by the Department of Health mosquito disease surveillance program.

Caption: City of Kwinana staff sampling larvae.

City of Kwinana Mayor Peter Feasey said the virus activity was likely to be the result of warmer water, favouring mosquito breeding.

“People need to be actively protecting themselves from mosquito bites,” Mayor Feasey said.

“During warm weather mosquitoes are most active at dawn and early evening, which is also when people are likely to be spending more time outside.

“Mosquito management is being undertaken by the City in areas with a recognised risk of Ross River virus activity.

“However, it is not realistic to rely on mosquito management programs alone to control all mosquitoes.

“People need to take their own precautions to avoid mosquito bites.”

Symptoms of RRV 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.

There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment for RRV, so it is important that people take care to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.

People are encouraged to take the following precautions to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Avoid outdoor exposure, particularly at dawn and early evening.
  • Wear protective (long, loose-fitting, light-coloured) clothing when outdoors.
  • Apply an effective personal mosquito repellent containing diethyltoluamide (DEET), picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), also known as PMD, evenly to all areas of exposed skin and always follow the label instructions.
  • 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 infants and children are adequately protected against mosquito bites, preferably with suitable clothing, shoes/socks, bed nets or other forms of insect screening.
  • Ensure insect screens are installed and in good condition on houses.

For more information about mosquito prevention visit:

Managing Insects and Pests: Pest Control | City of Kwinana

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