Did you know that Ross River Virus (RRV) was first isolated from people in 1972? Did you know there has been a case of transfusion transmission of this virus? The enclosed article identifies that “RRV is now known to be the most common mosquito-borne disease of humans in Australia, and is endemic in several regions. An average of around 5000 cases of RRV disease are notified annually in Australia, with considerable yearly, seasonal and regional variability due to differences in environmental conditions that affect the mosquito vectors and native animal hosts of the virus.”
We all know someone who has been positive for the Ross river Virus. “The incubation period averages 7 to 9 days with a range of 2 to 21 days. Symptoms of RRV most commonly include joint manifestations, which are usually symmetrical and acute in onset, with rash and fever being less common. As many as 55% to 75% of RRV infections are asymptomatic.”
The enclosed article was published in the Medical Journal of Australia in March this year and discusses the case of a transfusion transmitted case of Ross River Virus.
In part the article identifies that:
“Laboratory testing for RRV is not done for Australian blood donors during the donation process, and there is no validated blood screening test for RRV.
To manage the risk of transfusion transmission, the Blood Service does not permit donors with symptoms compatible with RRV to donate until they are fully recovered. However, given that most RRV infections are asymptomatic and viraemia is present during the incubation period, excluding donors based on symptoms will not prevent all potentially infectious donations entering the blood supply.
Provided infected donors report subsequent illness immediately to the Blood Service, the recall process should prevent the proportion of donations from symptomatic RRV infected donors from being used.
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