Monday, October 1, 2007

The Ross River Virus Increases its Prevalence

Although the Ross River Virus is not new to Australia, its prevalence is currently soaring.

According to
The Sunday Mail (Qld) article (edited for Courier Mail at, found at the following link,23739,22502731-31-2,00.html, due to increased numbers of mosquitoes, the virus is spreading with case numbers increased to almost 300 percent.

This virus, which belongs in the genus, Alphavirus and family Togaviridae, is endemic in most of coastal Australia. It used to be most common in the north; however, there has been an almost 450 percent increase in prevalence in the Brisbane area (to the south) in the past four weeks.

The good news is that the human disease is not fatal, although sometimes painful and can persist for years.

Specific numbers released by
Queensland Health to The Sunday Mail, show that 93 cases of the virus were reported in the last four weeks, instead of the average 32 cases.

There has been some speculation that perhaps virus transmission increases in the warmer weather as summer approaches. It would be interesting to learn more about this idea!

(In case anyone else is like me and did not know much about this virus until now, here is an link with some basic info.


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