ROSS RIVER VIRUS
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Ross River Virus is a single-strand RNA alphavirus that is endemic in Australia, New Guinea and other parts of the South Pacific. It causes a non-lethal but debilitating disease in humans that was originally known as "Epidemic Polyarthritis." Native mammals and birds in Australia are suspected as reservoir hosts because antibodies of the virus have been isolated from placental and marsupial mammals and some bird species. The virus might ultimately spread to other geographical areas as travelers from Europe have acquired the virus in Australia.
Aedes camptorhynchus, the southern saltmarsh mosquito in New Zealand was a known vector, but an eradication campaign has been deemed successful. Other mosquitoes in Australia that are suspected vectors include Aedes camptorhynchus, Aedes vigilax and Culex annulirostris
Education of the public living in or travelling to endemic areas is advised to minimise exposure to mosquito bites. Information should indicate the location of mosquito breeding habitats, and when periods of maximum mosquito activity occur. Also, the use of protective clothing, appropriate repellents and ways to reduce mosquitoes in the home can reduce the incidence of infection.
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