Outbreaks closer to home – 2015
Dr Fauzie Le Duc – TMA Member Nerang
Ross river virus is a virus transmitted through mosquito bites that affects Australia and the Pacific Islands. There is a current alert with increased numbers of infections in Queensland and New South Wales.
In Queensland, the number of cases has increased 4.2 times the average with 626 cases reported so far in 2015 and 213 cases since the start of February. New South Wales is also experiencing a significant increase in cases over their yearly average since the beginning of the year.
The signs and symptoms of infection include a history of mosquito bites, joint pains throughout the body as well as a rash. There may also be significant fatigue. In 50% of cases after the initial illness the joint pains and/or rash persist for up to 6 to 12 months. There is a simple blood test for Ross River virus so seek medical attention if there are any symptoms or suspicion.
There is no specific treatment for Ross River virus. Symptoms are usually treated with anti-inflammatory medications if needed, such as ibuprofen.
Tips to protect yourself and family from mosquito bites are to use insect repellant and reduce the amount of stagnant water around the house, which provide breeding areas for the mosquitos. More tips can be found at – www.health.qld.gov.au/mozziediseases .