A to Z of Destinations
Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
Diving and snorkelling
Wildlife and safaris
Meet the locals
Frontier and expedition
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
Volunteer and conservation
Australia, East Coast
Everest Base Camp
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
Cruising the Nile, Egypt
23rd March 2012
The number of people contracting the mosquito-spread infection has dramatically increased in Western Australia and Tasmania
Although not fatal, many health authorities are warning travellers to be aware of mosquitoes and the Ross River Virus (RRV). A significant rise in people contracting the disease, has reportedly been caused by recent flooding and consequent swarms of mosquitoes in Western Australia.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has already reported 632 cases in Western Australia and Tasmania this year – more than double for the same period last year.
Due to heavy rainfall in several states and severe flooding in New South Wales and Queensland, vast areas of stagnant water have formed – acting as the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Health authorities are urging travellers in the affected regions to be vigilant in protecting
themselves against mosquito bites.
Dr Jane Wilson-Howarth told Wanderlust a bit more about RRV: “It is spread by mosquito bites and the only way to prevent it is by avoiding bites, especially between late afternoon and about three hours after sundown. The symptoms can persist for months so bite-avoidance is crucial."
“Ross River Virus is never fatal. However there is great variability in the severity of the symptoms: about one third of people are unaware that they are infected. Any symptoms tend to start three to 11 days after an infective bite, when people feel weak, fatigued, they develop aches and pains, and there may be swelling and stiffness of the joints. Some experience a rash on the arms legs and body which settles in seven to ten days,” she added.
Travellers should be wary that the virus is not restricted to Australia. RRV cases have been reported in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and some Pacific Islands.
Advice to travellers:
The virus is transmitted via an infected mosquito. There is no vaccination available, so travellers should avoid being bitten by using insect repellent containing 50% DEET, wearing lose fitting clothes, sleeping in mosquito nets and trying to avoid stagnant bodies of water around dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
If you experience the following symptoms, Dr Wilson-Howarth advises that you should take paracetamol to relieve the symptoms. If it has little effect, you should consult a doctor. The virus is diagnosed with a simple blood test.
Although signs of the RRV vary from person to person, often people experience a red spotty rash, flu like-symptoms, including fever, chills and headaches, as well as stiffness of joints or muscles.
New South Wales under high flood alert | News... More
Stay safe when you're on the road with our travel safety guide | Advice... More
Spider populations balloon in flood-ravaged Australia | News... More
Don't take risks on your next trip: take out Wanderlust insurance for great cover | InsureandGo... More
Australia travel guide | Destinations... More
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!
Australia travel guide, including map of Australia, top Australia travel experiences, tips for travel in Australia, plus where the best Outback experiences in A
Beautiful coastlines, epic wilderness and drinkable valleys: there’s a ripe New South Wales adventure sitting right on Sydney’s doorstep.
For centuries, visitors to French Polynesia’s Marquesas Islands have tried to make them fit their own ideas of what a paradise should be – but the reality is so much better
Kangaroo Island is well named – but the thousands of roos that bound around are joined by a host of other Australian wildlife, best seen from new hiking trails
Can you give this kangaroo a witty caption? Make us laugh, and you could win prizes...
The UK's biggest and best travel photography competition is now open! Enter your best shots now for the chance to win £3,000 or a trip to Western Australia...
Where is the world's top destination? Which country is the one to watch? Where is the loveliest international airport – and which airline is the best to fly with? The Wanderlust Travel Awards 2015 reveals all...
Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking
for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.
Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private
and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking.
10% OFF at Powertraveller
Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway: 3 nights from £420pp incl. flights
Save 5% on travel insurance with InsureandGo
Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web
exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!
I have read and agree to the Terms &
Where in the world are you? Add
#wanderlustmag to your tweets and share your latest travel adventures with
fellow Wanderlusters on wanderlust.co.uk
Get to know Wanderlust on facebook and bring all your travel-minded friends, too