You've Got What? Barmah Forest virus infection
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This is an illness caused by infection with the Barmah Forest virus, which is related to Ross River virus.
Barmah Forest virus infection is a notifiable condition1
Barmah Forest virus infection is spread by mosquitoes from infected animals to humans. Native animals, such as wallabies and kangaroos, are thought to be the main animals involved in the cycle of infection. When a female mosquito feeds on the blood of an infected animal, the mosquito may become infected with the virus. The virus may subsequently be passed on to humans or other animals when the mosquito feeds again.
Many people infected with the Barmah Forest virus will not develop any symptoms, but others may develop:
Most people will recover completely within a few weeks but in a few people the symptoms may persist for several months, and very rarely for more than a year. A full recovery can be expected.
Diagnosis is made by blood tests. Since there are other illness with similar symptoms, blood tests are usually required to confirm the diagnosis.
(time between becoming infected and developing symptoms)
Usually 7 to 10 days, but may be up to 21 days.
(time during which an infected person can infect others)
Direct person-to-person spread does not occur.
There is no specific antiviral treatment available.
General recommendations include controlling fever and pain with paracetamol and increasing fluid intake. Aspirin should not be given to children under 12 years of age unless specifically recommended by a doctor.
1 – In South Australia the law requires doctors and laboratories to report some infections or diseases to SA Health. These infections or diseases are commonly referred to as 'notifiable conditions'.