ROSS RIVER VIRUS

 

Ross River Virus

 

 

 

 

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This is a disease contracted from mosquitoes. It originated in Queensland but has now spread across Australia. About 4,800 people contract this virus each year. The disease was first identified in 1971.

The incubation period can be anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks. Studies how that 33% of people bitten by mosquitoes carrying the virus will develop symptoms.

Symptoms usually appear within 14 days and may include painful and swollen joints (pain is much more common than swelling), sore muscles, aching tendons, skin rashes, fever, tiredness, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, sore eyes, sore throat, nausea, tingling in the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

Symptoms can remain from 2 weeks to 6 months. For some reason children seem to have less severe symptoms that do not last as long as adults.

Diagnosis is via a blood test but there is currently no treatment for the disease.

The disease can be contracted anywhere in W.A. but the north is warm enough for the virus to be active all year. Even in southern areas some people do contract the disease during the colder months.

To avoid infection, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Use repellent, wear suitable clothing, and avoid areas where mosquito numbers are very high.

Barmah Forest virus is another mosquito borne infection that is present in W.A. and it may have similar symptoms to Ross River Virus.

Further information can be obtained from the Health Department of W.A. Department of Health Telephone: 08 9388 4999 Email: ehinfo@health.wa.gov.au

 

 

 

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