Mosquito borne disease explained

We all know mosquitoes can be a nuisance, but some can spread serious diseases when they bite.

The most common disease spread by mosquitoes in South Australia is Ross River virus, followed by Barmah Forest virus.

There is currently no cure and no vaccine for either virus. A blood test by a doctor confirms if you're infected and symptoms include:

  • rash
  • joint and muscle pain, swelling or stiffness
  • flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, headache)
  • tiredness or weakness
  • a feeling of being unwell.

There is no specific treatment for either virus but paracetamol can be used to treat pain and fever. Remember to always follow your doctor's advice and any medicine labels.

Most people recover in a few weeks but sometimes symptoms can last for a few months, and in some cases for over a year.

More serious mosquito-borne diseases

Some mosquitoes can spread rare, but more serious and sometimes fatal diseases.

Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites

Cover up

Wear long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing.


It is recommended that people use mosquito repellents containing either DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (PMD), that have been approved by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).


Stop mosquitoes breeding in water pooling around your property.