What is Ross River Virus?
Ross River Virus is a disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus may cause pain in, and possibly swelling of joints. Affected joints can include knees, wrist, knuckles, ankles, toes and fingers.
How do you get Ross River Virus?
The virus is only spread via the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes responsible for transmitting the virus include Culex annulirostris, Aedes vigilax and Aedes notoscriptus.
Ross River Virus occurs widely in Australia. Mostly, cases of the virus occur from February to May, but it can occur at other times. Outbreaks of the virus are reflected by increased mosquito breeding during periods of high rainfall or high tides.
What are the symptoms?
It can take around three to nine days after being bitten by an infected mosquito before the symptoms are first experienced. Some people infected by the Ross River Virus may not even experience the symptoms. Those with symptoms will experience joint pain and swelling followed in one to ten days by a rash on the torso and limbs. The rash usually lasts one to ten days and may be accompanied by a fever. Tingling and pain in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet is sometimes experienced.
Why is Ross River Virus a concern to you?
If you have Ross River Virus, you will recover. The time taken to recover from the virus varies between people and can last several months.
How do you avoid getting Ross River Virus?
There is no cure for Ross River Virus, only treatments of the symptoms.
The most effective way to avoid getting the virus is to prevent getting bitten. These tips will help you to avoid getting bitten:
- Stay inside during the early morning and early evening when possible.
- Wear insect repellent.
- Wear long, loose, light coloured protective clothing when outdoors.
- Screen sleeping and living areas or use mosquito nets.
- Remove any rubbish or containers in your yard that do or may hold water.
For more information, please phone 1300 878 001 or contact Environmental Health Services.