NSW in Grip of Ross River Fever Outbreak

NSW Labor has accused NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner of “dropping the ball” on the current State-wide outbreak of Ross River Fever – the worst outbreak in two years

In the last seven weeks alone, NSW Health has reported 229 cases.

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NSW Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord today demanded Mrs Skinner step up public education campaigns on preventing the mosquito-borne disease Ross River Fever.

“Make no mistake, we are the middle of a Ross River surge in NSW … and again, the State Government and its health minister are unprepared,” Mr Secord said.

This was after NSW Health confirmed that December 2016 was the worst month for Ross River Fever in the year with a 155 recorded cases.

The increase in Ross River Fever reports from November 2016 to December 2016 was almost five-fold.

As of January 20, 2017 there were 108 cases so far in NSW.

Mr Secord said we are in a “perfect storm” for mosquitoes.

“It is very wet, humid and there have been king tides along the major rivers in Sydney.

That means plenty of breeding opportunities for mosquitoes in our waterways and in still water in backyards.”

“Unfortunately, the State Government and its health minister Jillian Skinner have dropped the ball on another public health issue.”

Ross River fever is one of a group of viruses called arboviruses (or arthropod-borne viruses), which are spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes.

Some will have flu-like symptoms that include fever, chills, headache and aches and pains in the muscles and joints.

Some joints can become swollen, and joint stiffness may be particularly noticeable in the morning.

A general feeling of being unwell, tired or weak may also occur at times during the illness; and some may experience symptoms such as joint pain and tiredness for many months.

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