Threat of mozzie-bite illness rises

PEOPLE living in the Tweed Shire should guard themselves against becoming infected with the mosquito-borne Barmah Forest and Ross River viruses, North Coast Area Health Service yesterday warned.

Director of Public Health Paul Corben said the heavy rains last week, combined with high humidity, the possibility of further rain and some very high tides in the next few weeks means more breeding sites for mosquitoes on the North Coast.

“With more mosquitoes maturing over the coming weeks, there will be a greater chance of being bitten and contracting a mosquito-borne virus,” Mr Corben said.

“This is also the time of year when we usually see a steep rise in cases of Barmah Forest virus and Ross River virus infections, so it's particularly important that people take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes over the coming several weeks.”

Symptoms of both virus infections are similar and include flu-like symptoms, joint swelling and stiffness, a rash or a feeling of tiredness and weakness.

The majority of people will recover completely within a few weeks.



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