Ross River - Beat the Bite!

At the start of this year, local resident and farmer Jeffrey Sambell was diagnosed with Ross River Virus.

 “Firstly it started with a rash, there were spots all over my body, I only remember the itch for about a day,” said Mr Sambell.


“I then started to feel really weak, I knew something wasn’t right when I had to cancel going to my mates 40th, I was all stiff, had no strength in my legs and was finding it really hard to just walk around.”

”Basically it felt to me that someone had just taken away the power away from my legs”

“My wife Jess suggested that it may be Ross River so I went to the Doctor and had a test which returned positive, they then do a second test to confirm.”

“I had an existing shoulder injury, and the fever just seemed to enhance the pain.”

“Mine was a relatively minor case (of Ross River) as I have heard of people whose symptoms were much worse”

“It still seems to come and go a bit, especially when I get a bit run down”

Ross River Virus (RRV) has really come into the spotlight in the last year as the number of cases across the state has dramatically increased.  RRV disease is caused by an alphavirus which is spread by mosquitoes. 

RRV can cause joint inflammation and pain, fatigue and muscle aches.  Many infected people also develop a rash of variable appearances. 

People infected with the virus will develop symptoms 3 – 21 days after being infected.

The good news is everyone recovers, although some people have intermittent symptoms for a year or more.

The Mosquitoes have been out and about this season already and given the amount of water lying around this spring and summer Edenhope & District Memorial Hospital thought it was timely to remind people to be wary.

If you or a family member or friend experience these symptoms make sure you visit your local doctor.

  • A rash
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in your joints
  • Muscle aches

There are simple steps to protect against mosquito bites

  • Use effective mosquito repellents containing DEET or picaridin on all exposed skin
  • Wear long, loose-fitting clothes
  • Ensure your home or accommodation is mosquito proof through fly screens or mosquito nets.
  • Limit outdoor activity if mosquitos are about
  • Use knockdown sprays and plug-in vaporizing devices indoors
  • Mosquito coils can be effective in small outdoor protected areas.

West Wimmera Shire Council has a mosquito management plan in place if anyone wants to know how they can treat any standing water near their home they can contact the shire.

If you would like any more information about the Ross River Virus please contact the Edenhope Hospital Medical Clinic 03 5585 9888.

Alternatively, there is plenty of information on the Better Health website