ESCALATING cases of Ross River virus in the Gympie region have prompted Gympie Regional Council to work with Queensland Health to find a way to control the disease.
Eleven cases of Ross River virus were treated by Gympie doctors in less than a month (April 12 to May 9), the council’s Community And Economic Development Committee heard yesterday.
In the same period one person at Imbil and one at Gympie was treated for Barmah Forest virus, which is similar to Ross River and also transported by mosquitoes.
Health and Environmental Services Co-ordinator Ian Wolff told the committee Queensland Health had advised cases of Ross River were increasing across the Wide Bay, including in the Sunshine and Fraser Coast regions.
Summer is the traditional season for mosquitoes to be active, however, Gympie’s relatively mild autumn and winter conditions meant mosquitoes could be biting all year round.
Mayor Ron Dyne encouraged residents to be alert.
“Even though the weather is getting cooler, mosquitoes are still on the move,” he said.
“Council’s community services environmental health officers are working closely with officers from State health departments to develop and implement programs educating residents and ratepayers about preventing mosquito borne diseases in the Gympie region.”
Cr Dyne said, generally, mosquitoes were most active at sunrise and sunset, so people should take special care to avoid being bitten during those periods.
Precautions to prevent contracting the virus are listed on the Queensland Health website at www.health.qld.gov.au or for further information call the council’s community services directorate on 5481 0611.