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Common questions

  1. What are the symptoms of Ross River virus disease?

    Usual symptoms are joint and muscle pain as well as fever and in some cases rash, headache and fatigue. The fever may be mild and go unnoticed. The rash involves the chest, back and limbs. The joints of legs and hands are most commonly affected and back pain is also relatively common.

    At least half of patients with the disease are well enough to return to work within a month of the onset of symptoms but about one in ten may be still suffering with joint pain after three months. The illness tends to subside over time with occasional relapses of joint pain and fatigue. The good news is that the virus does not cause permanent damage to joints and that eventually the symptoms will stop.

  2. Can recurrent infections occur?

    It is generally considered that infection with Ross River virus results in long-term immunity to the disease. However, two distinct genetic types of virus exist; one predominates in eastern Australia and the other in Western Australia.

  3. Can I pass Ross River virus disease to other people?

    No, this disease is thought to be only passed through the mosquito bite rather than human-to-human contacts, although one case of transfusion transmitted infection was reported recently.

  4. Is there a vaccine for Ross River virus disease?

    No, but researchers are attempting to develop a vaccine.

Last Review Date: December 30, 2018