Australians are being urged by NSW Health to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases this Christmas.
"Mosquito activity increases in the warmer months and increases the danger of diseases such as Barmah Forest virus and Ross River virus which occurs particularly in rural, coastal and bush areas," said NSW Health director of health protection Dr Jeremy McAnulty.
Dr McAnulty said that steps should be taken to avoid exposure to mosquitoes, especially for people taking holidays around country, coastal and bush areas.
"The incidence of Ross River and Barmah Forest virus infections increase greatly during summer and can cause unpleasant symptoms including, rash, fever, sore and swollen joints, and tiredness," said Dr McAnulty.
These are said to usually last a few days but some people may experience "more debilitating symptoms" for weeks.
Dr McAnulty said there was no specific treatment for the viruses but that the best way to avoid infection was to protect yourself against getting bitten.
Ways you can avoid mosquito bites include refraining from going outside around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are common and applying insect repellent regularly to exposed areas.
Don't use repellents on the skin of children aged under three months; use netting on prams, play areas and cots instead.