By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Rising water in the Murray River has caused a surge in mosquito-borne infections in South Australia. The water is rising in the Murray in SA as floodwaters move downstream from the eastern states.
The SA Health chief public health officer Dr Stephen Christley is warning the population regarding rising mosquito borne viral infections. He said that the wet summer was one of the main reasons for these numbers adding, “We’re seeing cases across South Australia because I think the climatic conditions have been wet across most of SA. You could look at the rainfall for the past two to three months and match that to the spread - Adelaide is there as well.”
Dr Christley however assured that none of the viral infections are deadly. “Some of the other viruses that you see in other countries can be much more nastier than these viruses.”
There have been 351 cases of Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus across SA this year so far, compared to only 16 cases at the same time last year Dr. Christley said. “While most people will recover completely in a few weeks, some can have quite severe symptoms for many months. Anyone suffering from symptoms should contact their doctor for advice,” he added.
Dengue fever, Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus all may lead to joint pain. Other symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, rash, fatigue, aching tendons, swollen lymph nodes and headaches. SA Health has not yet confirmed if either virus has led to recent hospital admissions.