Ross River Virus – Australia

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Residents in southern NSW are advised to take extra steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites following a suspected outbreak of Ross River Fever and the Barmah Forest Virus locally.

The Southern NSW Local Health District says an increased number of suspected cases of both mosquito-borne diseases have been reported to the public health unit and are currently under investigation.

So far, the investigation suggests the infections were acquired on the NSW South Coast.

The NSW Arbovirus Surveillance and mosquito monitoring program has seen a moderate number of mosquitoes in early February at a trapping site in Narooma.

People who experience tiredness and sore and swollen joints are advised to seek medical care. Symptoms can subside after a few weeks, but some people may experience them for weeks or even months.

Photo: Aedes aegypti mosquito, vector of the Ross River virus.

Common symptoms of Ross River virus infection include fever, joint pain, feeling tired and generally unwell. The condition can be debilitating for some who take years to recover. Most people recover in 2-3 weeks.

The virus was first isolated in 1972 from the serum of a boy named Edward River, but the disease has been known since 1928. While originally only found in Australia, the virus has been spotted in India in 2010.

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