Ross River Fever

What is Ross River Fever?

Ross River fever is generally a limited viral infection characterised by aching or inflammation of the joints in the wrist, knee, ankle, and fingers.  

How do you get Ross River Fever?

The virus that causes Ross River fever is transmitted only through the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus is not transmitted directly from person to person.  

Susceptibility and Resistance

All persons are susceptible but recovery is universal and followed by long-lasting immunity.  Second attacks do not occur.  The arthritis occurs most frequently among adult females.

Incubation Period

The incubation period for Ross River Fever is 3-11 days.

What are the Symptoms?

The illness begins with a mild to moderate fever and arthritis that is followed in 1 to 10 days by a non-itchy rash, located mostly on the trunk and limbs.  The rash resolves within 7 to 10 days.  There may be no fever.

Preventative Measures

Avoiding mosquito bites in areas where Ross River virus is found is the best method for preventing this infection. 


There is no specific treatment for this self-limited disease other than supportive treatment of symptoms.

Where Does It Commonly Occur?

The virus that causes Ross River fever is found only in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, the Cook Islands, and New Caledonia.