THREE cases of Ross River virus have been reported in Greater Bendigo, as health authorities warn case numbers are rising across the state.
Nearly 250 cases of the mosquito-born Ross River virus have been reported across the state to February 25, more than double a typical year.
The majority of these cases have been in residents of the Surf Coast, Bellarine and East Gippsland areas.
But cases of the virus have been reported in central Victorian shires, including 13 in Campaspe.
The Macedon Ranges, Mount Alexander and Greater Bendigo have each reported three cases. Loddon has reported one case, while Buloke and the Central Goldfields have not reported any.
The Ross River virus can occur in most regions of Australia, but is particularly common around inland waterways and coastal regions.
Symptoms include fever, rash, headache, aching muscles and or joints and fatigue. Anyone with symptoms like this has been urged to seek medical attention from their general practitioner.
Onset may be from two to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito.
Heavy rainfall, floods, high tides and warm weather can result in more cases of Ross River virus, as these conditions increase mosquito numbers.
Victoria's executive director for communicable disease Bruce Bolam said early summer conditions had been conducive to mosquito breeding.
Dr Bolam urged people to take simple steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito born-illnesses.
He said Victorian mosquitoes were active throughout the day, but often peaked in the late afternoon, into the evening, as well as during dawn and dusk.
Dr Bolam encouraged people to wear long, loose fitting clothes and use repellents containing picaridin or DEET on exposed skin.
He said people should make sure they had insect screens fitted to doors and windows around their home, which were in good condition.
Dr Bolam said people should also get rid of any stagnant water around their homes or campsite, such as that accumulated in old tyres, fish ponds, unmaintained swimming pools, unsealed water tanks and pot plant holders.
Case numbers are recorded against the local government area in which the infected person resides. They may not be where the case acquired the virus.
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