The Ross River virus has made its way to Gippsland, prompting a health warning to be issued for anyone who lives or has visited the area.
The disease was detected in mosquitos around Ninety Mile beach and includes symptoms such as headaches, fever, rash and fatigue. People may also experience pain and stiffness in their joints.
Victoria Health has said the best way to protect yourself from the virus is to avoid being bitten by mosquitos.
“Protective measures include regularly using mosquito repellent containing picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin, wearing long, loose-fitting clothing when outside, and ensuring accommodation, including tents, are properly fitted with mosquito nettings or screens,” Victoria Health said.
“A blood test early in the illness can indicate potential acute infection and should be repeated two weeks later for confirmation.”
Symptoms usually take nine days to appear after exposure but have been known to take up to 21 days.
Anyone in the region is being advised to not be outside unprotected especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitos are active. It is best to cover up as much as possible with light-coloured, loose clothing and covered footwear.