Ross River Virus – Implications and chronic effects

moz

Ross River Virus is a virus purportedly spread by mosquitoes much in the same way as malaria. Most cases are not reported as they are mistaken for influenza simply because the symptoms are very similar. In fact, many cases that present clinically are diagnosed as the flu – and most disappear by themselves through strong immunity.

Those who are immune compromised (having recently had vaccinations, antibiotics or serious chronic health issues) make up the numbers – and only those who have lived or visited heavily infested mosquito areas (where RRV is known to be present) are diagnosed with Ross River – usually because the patient has advised their recent exposure. Ross River is not carried by every mosquito and like other insect borne illness, it is dependent upon geography rather than the large presence of mosquitoes in any given area.

According to Notifiable Infectious Disease Reports, WA Department of Health, while there has been an increase in notifications, it tends to be more of a case that doctors are aware of the activities of a patient, instead of an actual increase in cases.

Around 100,000 cases are recorded annually – usually across the top end of Australia, however it is being more and more reported in low-lying areas such as the south west of WA. According to the Dept of Health,  Ages affected are mostly 39-45; with no real indication of why this age group is most affected.

It is usually classified as a non-fatal virus, however those affected in the long term develop myalgic encephalomyelitis (also known as ME/chronic fatigue syndrome). Initial symptoms include flu like inflammatory symptoms. Mismanaged cases that worsen and develop in chronicity display marker symptoms such as joint pain and swelling (mainly in the extremities), lethargy, myalgia, rash (involving the trunk and limbs), fever, headache and depression. These symptoms are identical in nature to chronic fatigue syndrome which is usually mismanaged medically and diagnosed as depression and fibromyalgia – and treated medically with anti depressants, NSAIDs and strong analgesia – and compound the illness as the patient develops addictions and dependence on the medications.

Development – with an incubation period after mosquito exposure of 7 to 9 days (but with a possible range of 3 to 21 days), diagnosis is often hit and miss as it closely mirrors many other viral symptom sets.

Diagnosis – Blood tests will detect viral loads and those displaying a positive IgM or a 4-fold rise on IgG titre is diagnostic of RRV disease – such cases usually display a range of very slight (and often overlooked) markers –

  • Eosinophilia
  • Splenomegaly
  • Anæmia
  • Blood viral markers

Concomitant symptoms –

  • Photophobia
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Painful and swollen joints – especially knees, ankles, wrists, fingers, jaw, neck, shoulder, back, elbow, wrist, hip, hands, feet and toes
  • Lymphadenopathy (enlarged glands)
  • Sore throat
  • Coryza (watery eyes)
  • Neck stiffness
  • Enlarged abdominal organs

Effective management and treatment –

Please also see my blog posts on Chronic Fatigue for more helpful tips – See here

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References –

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2 Comments

    1. The best therapies are so affordable! But if the pharma and medical gods can get away with it, they will only tell you that it only works if you have it in a vaccine or pill… Too bad if those suggestions have myriad side effects that could kill!

      Like

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