THE number of cases of Ross River Virus in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District region have doubled in less than a month.
On January 22, there were 18 reported cases of the virus in the MLHD area and now that number has risen to 41 cases.
That figure is the total number for this year so far with people from throughout the region suffering from the impacts of the virus.
Ross River fever is caused by a viral infection, transmitted through mosquito bites.
Ross River virus disease can cause joint inflammation and pain, fatigue and muscle aches.
Many infected people also develop a rash of variable appearance.
Most people recover completely within three to six months, although some people have intermittent symptoms for a year or more.
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Symptoms usually begin to appear three to nine (but up to 21) days after becoming infected.
It has the ability to really impact on people's day-to-day lives, which is why the MLHD has again urged residents to be proactive when protecting themselves and their families from mosquito bites.
Steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes include:
. When outside cover up as much as possible with light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing and covered footwear.
. Use an effective repellent on all exposed skin. Re-apply repellent within a few hours, as protection wears off with perspiration. The best mosquito repellents contain Diethyl Toluamide (DEET) or Picaridin.
. Take special care during peak mosquito biting hours, especially around dawn and dusk
. Remove potential mosquito breeding sites from around the home and screen windows and doors
. Light mosquito coils or use vaporising mats indoors. Devices that use light to attract and electrocute insects are not effective.
. When camping, use flyscreens on caravans and tents or sleep under mosquito nets.
Residents who believe they are experiencing symptoms of Ross River fever should make an appointment to see their general practitioner as soon as possible.
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