Ross River on the rise in South West

Briana FioreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Ross River virus is on the rise in the South West.
Camera IconRoss River virus is on the rise in the South West.

While COVID-19 seems to be at bay in WA, Ross River virus is not.

The mosquito-borne disease is alive and well in the South West with an increase in the virus being detected in Australind and Leschenault.

Harvey Shire Council last week issued its second warning for the season and told residents to take precautions after a spike in the virus found during testing.

The virus targets joints in the body and can cause severe inflammation and pain.

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There is no treatment or vaccine for Ross River virus so people are being urged to be on the lookout.

The council issued a warning that said mosquitoes collected were testing positive for the virus, with spring being popular for mosquito activity.

It said people should cover up and wear long, loose fitting clothes covering the entirety of the body.

People should also use repellents containing diethyltolumide or picaridin and remove water-holding containers from around the home and backyard.

Shire principal environmental health officer Scott Dandridge issued a warning in July cautioning of unseasonal Ross River activity on the western side of Leschenault Estuary near Buffalo Road.

He said the detections were an “early warning system” for the Health Department.

The early detections forced the department to bring forward the helicopter treatment to treat 50ha of swamp land. In a video posted to Instagram, shire president Paul Gillett said he suffered from Ross River virus three years ago.

“It interrupts a lot of things in your life,” he said.

“The shire is doing all it can, but this is just a gentle reminder to cover up and take repellent,” he said.

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