Ross River Fever is a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by infection with the Ross River virus.
The virus is endemic to Australia, Pap ua New Guinea
, Fiji, Samoa, the Cook
Islands, New Caledonia and several other islands in the South Pacific.
Ross River fever is more prevalent during the "wet season", particularly
January - March, when mosquito populations numbers are high.
In southern parts of Australia, this time period may shift to earlier in the year during spring/summer. Areas noted of common place contraction of the virus include townships and along the River Murray areas. Backwaters and Lagoons are breeding grounds for mosquitos and local medical treating facilities report higher cases than cities away from the river around the riverina in areas.
Areas near suitable mosquito breeding grounds — marshes, wetlands, waterways and farms with irrigation systems — are high risk areas for outbreaks The virus is not contagious and is spread only by mosquitoes.
Symptoms of the disease may vary widely in severity, but major indicators are arthralgia, arthritis, fever, and rash. The incubation period is 7–9 days. About a third of infections are asymptomatic (no symptoms are shown), particularly in children A blood test is the only way to confirm a case of Ross River Fever.
There is currently no vaccine available.
The primary method of disease prevention is minimizing mosquito bites, as the disease is only transmitted by mosquitoes Wear long,