Ross River fever mosquito warning for Kangaroo Island, South Australia residents

SA residents have been warned to avoid mosquito bites. Picture: file
SA residents have been warned to avoid mosquito bites. Picture: file

Kangaroo Island and SA residents are being warned to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes after an increase of Ross River fever cases across South Australia.

Western Cove resident Fleur Peters is keen to get the word out since being diagnosed in recent weeks and suffering from the debilitating symptoms.

She said she knows of at least two other KI residents with symptoms yet to be diagnosed and listed several people who have contracted the disease on KI over the years.

See her Facebook post below

Across SA, four cases of Ross River virus infection were notified in mid January in one male and three females, with a median age of 43 years.

There have been nine cases of Ross River virus infection notified year-to-date compared to no cases for the same period last year.

The latest can be found SA Health's Notifiable disease summary

SA Health says South Australians should cover up against mosquito bites to prevent contracting vector borne diseases such as Ross River virus infection.

That itchy mosquito bite is a nuisance and could result in something much more harmful like Ross River or Barmah Forest virus infections which have symptoms such as fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, fatigue and a general feeling of being unwell.

Health authorities meanwhile last month issued a Ross River fever advisory warning for anyone living in, or travelling to north west Victoria.

People have been warned to avoid mosquito bites by using measures such as mosquito repellent containing picaridin or DEET.

Authorities also advise wearing long, loose fitting clothing outside and making sure accommodation is properly fitted with mosquito nets or screens.

The Victorian warning comes after Ross River virus was detected in mosquitoes in urban Mildura.

The virus can cause symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness, headache, fever, rash, fatigue.

"The best way to protect against mosquito-borne disease is to prevent being bitten," a SA Health spokesperson said.

It's also important to 'Fight the Bite' by covering up with long, loose fitting and light coloured clothing, using an insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin, stopping mosquitoes coming indoors and cleaning up water around the home to prevent breeding.

It is important that people remain vigilant in protecting themselves against mosquito bites particularly as they may be spending more time outdoors during summer.

For more information visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/fight the bite

Ross River plea from Fleur Peters:

Ross River Virus caught we believe on Kangaroo Island In spring 2020.

going public with my experience, so people are aware and take care.

The pain was extreme and started with what felt like influenza in mid November.

A subsequent COVID test was negative.

One month later I could hardly walk, unable to turn door handles, squeeze toothpaste tube, and all the normal movements we take for granted.

I would fall asleep during the daytime for several hours at a time.

Nearly three months later I still have inflammation and have brain fog and often feel tired.

We live at Nepean Bay and the only other locations visited last year were the city. We assume I got it here.

People need to be v careful especially during wet spring, major hatchings.

Many people may not even know they have it because symptoms vary.

I got quite depressed thinking I was going to have to manage ongoing debilitating arthritis.

The Doctors on KI were great and did the right blood tests. One test determined you have had RV and the other tests for the presence of anti bodies. The test is not definitive to when you first contracted the virus. Steroids have helped and naturopaths have treatments also.

I (Fleur) and Fred have had to make some lifestyle changes including working less.

If you are reading this please share.

Also reposting Amy Psyden from Pelican Lagoon's experience ...

I contracted Ross River Virus around the end of October 2020 living on the edge of Pelican Lagoon. After battling months of extreme joint pain and fatigue with resistance from my GP (not local-while on holiday on mainland) to test for RRV can I just recommend that if you feel any of the symptoms get a test done ASAP. The psychological stress of not knowing what is ruining your life is extreme. Although there is no prescribed remedy there is relief in knowledge. If there is anyone else on the island suffering I'd love to get in touch and know how you are coping. Cover up against the bloody mozzies people!

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