Ross River Virus

Ross River Virus

What Is Ross River Virus?

Ross river virus is a disease that is transmitted to people by an infected mosquito. Cases of Ross River Virus have been reported in all states and territories in Australia.


Symptoms of ross river virus usually take from seven to nine days to develop. Not all people develop symptoms, but if they do, they may be as mild as a common cold or as painful as arthritis. Pain and stiffness of any joint may be experienced but the most commonly affected joints are wrist, ankles, fingers and knees.

Other possible symptoms that can be experienced include:

  • Depression
  • Fatigue/weariness
  • Fever/chills
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Rash

Symptoms can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years.  The disease most commonly occurs in adults while symptoms are rare in children.

Although there is no vaccine or treatment for the disease, the severity of symptoms can be treated with medication prescribed by a doctor.

Preventing Ross River Virus

The best cure for Ross River Virus is prevention.

You can minimise sites where mosquitoes can breed by:

  • Checking gutters are not blocked so as to allow the free flow of water, and
  • Ensuring containers in the backyard are free of water (such as old tyres, pot plant bases and empty containers).

You can help prevent mosquito bites by:

  • Avoiding being outside at dusk and dawn, during mosquitoes' most active time
  • Screening windows and doors
  • Using an effective mosquito repellent, and
  • Wearing loose clothing as mosquitoes can bite through tight fitting clothing.