Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

Ross River Fever

Posted In: Medical Stories 13 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 23, 2007
  • 07:38 AM

I am a male, fairly fit and I am now 60 years old.

I got Ross River Fever (RRV) about 15 years ago when I was camping at a place called Sandbar (near Forster, NSW, Australia).

(You get Ross River Fever from a mosquito bite)

All my joints were aching like you wouldn't believe, I could hardly walk, I had a fever, a torso rash and I was extremely fatigued.

The first doctor I saw thought I had German Measles which ended up being wrong.

Two doctors later and I still didn't know what was wrong with me all they could tell me was I had some kind of a virus.

It took around 18 months before I felt right again, the pains in the joints slowly disappeared, slowly out of the legs then out of the arms and wrists.

One day (after I was fine again) my wife was reading a newspaper article about RRF and the symptoms mentioned described were me to a "T".

I had a blood test done to see if I had ever had RRF and YES! I HAD, you beauty! at least I know what was wrong with me back then.

Now, some 15 years later I am experiencing the same symptoms, not as bad as when I first got RRF, the pains are mostly in the upper area, the arms and wrists and if I do anything active I am buggered for days afterwards.

I have now had countless blood tests done to find out what is wrong with me this time but every test shows that I am fine. (Arthritis has been ruled out)

Of course I asked for a RRF test to see if thats come back and it shows it hasn't, only that I have had it at some time in my life

I was told to wait another 2 weeks after the first RRF test and test again but again thats come back negative also.

Some 5 months have gone by since I started getting the joint pains and I am still not 100%

I know how I felt when I got RRF originally and I firmly believe regardless of a negative result that I have it again today.

So here is the question for anyone interested,

Does anyone out there know if you can have RRF come back to attack you without it showing up in a blood test to say it is active again?

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13 Replies:

  • I'm sorry to say, I don't have anything positive to tell you. Here are my thoughts. I contracted RRV eight years ago. It was confirmed with a blood test. Since then I have had recurring bouts of exactly the same symptoms, generally they appeared to be lessening in frequency and intensity (but about every 6 months a recurrence) until about a month ago the severity intensified so much that I felt that it was all happening all over again! It was either rrv again or something else just like it! Tests only showed that I had rrv previously. I really believe that what the medical profession is saying about symptoms lasting no more than a few years is wrong. They don't know enough about this virus. Listening to sufferers of the illness is not enough because they need something concrete, test results that show them something! You know that what you feel is the same thing. I know that about what I'm experiencing is the same thing. You can see on the net that this is not an uncommon experience and that you're not alone. Frustrating, I know, that the medical profession cannot back us up at this stage. This is the first forum I have contributed to as I've always felt it best not to dwell on it and I hate to sound like a hypochondriac. But it is all so real and so frustrating!For me, it seems that as soon as i feel like I'm pretty much over it I take on more and then suffer the consequences. Just hang in there and keep waiting for a cure.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • September 21, 2007
    • 11:57 PM
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  • Hi,I find myself, 7 years after being diagnosed with RRV to be researching the subject of RRV "recurrence". Just like you at age 50 I suddenly found myself with joints swollen in some fingers, then a few weeks later, almost unable to walk at all. I am a long distance horse rider, I did not stop my sport, my passion, thought that I could 'ride it out'. Soon learnt that the Doctors seem to know nothing of how to treat this virus and that I also was 'having myself on' as the more I did (riding and exercise wise) the worse I became!I rode the storm and survived - it took many months for the arthritic effects to leave my body and soon I was back in the saddle and following my passion.This year I suddenly find myself wondering - can it come back? Or, does can you get re-infected by mosquitoes and suffer again. No where near as bad as before, but now in the morning I "hovel" to the toilet when my feet hit the floor, a couple of my finger joints are swollen again with no explanation.I have not been for a blood test - took a while for the medical profession to work out my problem last time BTW! I'm reading with interest your posting and the reply you have received. Maybe it can come back or recur?Left wondering....
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 22, 2011
    • 09:14 AM
    • 0
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  • I contracted RRF when I was 6 years old in Perth, the symptoms reoccurred in cycles then for quite a few years. Admittedly I don't exactly remember what it felt like as a child, but now at 25 I have been getting the symptoms reoccurring. I couldn't figure out what it was, until I searched the symptoms of RRF. I have to agree with the last post, perhaps it does remain in the system for a lot longer than the medical profession are aware of.It does seem to have been stress related for me though, so it will be interesting to see whether this reoccurs when I cut back on the workload.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • December 2010 I caught RRV whilst at a school end of year party on the Central Coast for my children. There was no rash but headaches and fevers at first that were relentless and extreme. It took two weeks before my Dr. finally asked for a full blood analysis looking for clues. At the pathology collection I was advised that to her my symptoms sounded like Glandular or RRV but my Dr. had not requested those tests. I promptly asked her to close her eyes whilst I added those two tests to the long list the Dr. had requested. Unbelievably everything the Dr. looked for was negative but I was positive for both Glandular & RRV which was further substantiated with an additional sample taken two weeks later. Funnily enough the Dr. never even raised an eyebrow when he saw results for tests he never ordered, perhaps he didn't even realise they weren't requested by him. Nevertheless as you all know Western Medicine offers no cure or treatment for either virus just pain management. By now I was shuffling out of bed to the toilet in the morning and laying on the floor of the shower trying to find comfort. I couldn't sleep at all and often felt like I had been beaten up by a team with baseball bats. my head was so sensitive to lay it on a pillow was somewhat excruciating....not a good situation. I was given heavy duty sleeping tablets which could knock me out for 3-4 hours at a time. After many weeks like this (I thought I was dying) I went to see a Naturopath. She immediately took wheat, dairy, coffee & alcohol away (which convinced me I was dying) and gave me a range of homeopathic & Chinese herbal remedies which I took together with my own interest in Hemp Seed Oil. I started improving and within three weeks started exercising again (it was now 4 months since diagnosis) I had been a reasonably fit, active 45 Year old husband, father of 4. as I continued to improve, I gradually reintroduced the foods I had missed and appeared to be getting away with it. Then, low and behold the winter lurgys arrived and as the rest of the family got sore throats and sniffles I relapsed into the aches and pains I had endured prior and again lost the ability to sleep for more than 3-4 hours. After visits to the Dr. & even hospital with chest pains it is now apparent that these are symptoms once again of the RRV. as diagnosed by myelf as medics told me I looked and appeared fine to them (how frustrating!).Anyway it looks like its back to the naturopath, away with the foods & beverages of choice and another tablespoon or two of Hemp Seed Oil every day & hope this approach will settle these symptoms down again and hopefully a cure will be found so I don't need to revisit this situation again with any amount of frequency. Good luck to all RRV sufferers and their families, friends & colleagues.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I was diagnosed with RRF in January 1986. It was totally incapacitating, I was bed ridden for a number of weeks. Symptoms kept reoccuring for years. Now, 2011, I have been diagnosed as having Barma Forest Virus and low and behold RRF turned up as positive in the blood test as well. Mosquitoes seem to love me. p.s. I live in Central Queensland.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 22, 2011
    • 10:38 PM
    • 0
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  • Thanks to all for your postings - they have been very helpful.I originally contracted RRF when working in Indonesia 4 or 5 years ago. I was then aged 68 and the symptoms were with me for almost 12 months. It nearly drove me crazy and finally after about 6 months i had to quit my job and return to Australia but to my dismay i found that Aussie Doctors knew nothing about this virus - in fact i got more info from the Indonesian and UN doctors and on the internet.It has been some years since i last experienced the symptoms and now it is back with a vengeance. I had no idea that the virus would recurr until i found this forum. Incidentally wouldn't you know it - my wife and i have just started a 2 month holiday in SE Asia (Thailand) and it is taking me all my time just to get out of bed in the morning and the pain is excrutiating. I hope it clears quickly so that we can enjoy our holiday.A friend has recommended taking 1000mg of Vitamin C every day and that seems to ease the pain a little. I am taking all sorts of heavy duty pain killers but nothing seems to be very effective. I have tried Panadol Osteo, Paracetamol/Codiene 500/30,Colchicine and celebrex but none of them seem to do much. Can any one recommend something that does give some pain relief. I am also taking 1000mg of fish oil daily.Can anyone advise how long the recurring bouts last?.
    Willbick 1 Replies
    • December 2, 2011
    • 08:23 AM
    • 0
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  • i was diagnosed with rrv in 1990.the pain and aching was agonising for the first year then on and off till 2000 when i was diagnosed positive. again. 5 months later was also diagnosed with glandular .fever.the only thing i was told to take were vitamins. i find that wheni am stressed or doing too much my legs suffer and am excssesivly tired.now in 2013 i feel I'm back to square 1 again.i am in shocking pain,n not only in my legs now but everywhere . i just wonder when it will end.
    nannyshaz23 1 Replies
    • February 28, 2013
    • 08:07 AM
    • 0
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  • I have RRV and got it after Cyclone Marcia. Some days and weeks I feel great and then probably overdo it and then I relapse. So frustrating and so depressing. Had not long split from my partner and had not been working but was looking to go back - not sure when that is going to happen! Have been a bit complacent with my supplements - time to get back on top of it!
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi all, Its great that I have found this thread, as this is the first information I have found about Relapse of RRV symptoms. I first caught it around 1991, though I was not diagnosed at the time. I was in a very stressful job, and thought the rash, pain and tiredness were just from working stupid hours under high stress. I had to quit the job after just getting sicker.

    Fast forward 25 years to 2016, and I was just diagnosed as having RRV in the past. Other then a high level OF RRV anti-bodies, as far as the doctor can tell, I am in perfect health. Great relfexes, bladder good, everything in the green.

    For me this started about 9 months ago, when I started to get a pain in a single finger joint. After about a month it started to hurt on the other hand, and then suddenly spread all over my hands, into all my joints, and the fatigue hit me about 3 days ago.

    Obviously this virus is still active and doing it's thing. As others have said, there is very little info.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • August 27, 2016
    • 09:15 AM
    • 0
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  • I contracted RRF in 1976 and was so fatigued I could hardly walk around. Initial symptoms included severe headache, fever and joint pain. Symptoms continued for more than ten years before the most severe ones subsided. The most debilitating symptom I experienced were night sweats which continued for many years. These were so severe I would have to change my clothes, sheets and flip the mattress. You can imagine what that did to my energy levels the following day. I was an active sportsperson but after RRF I found I could never ramp my training back to where it had been prior to RRF. As I increased my activity all of the symptoms would return. The doctors told my parents I was suffering depression and was placed on anti depressants. They refused to listen to my explanation that I was not depressed and suffering from some debilitating illness and could hardly drag myself around. It took almost a year before I finally received a RRF diagnosis. RRF changed my life.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • October 4, 2016
    • 00:31 AM
    • 0
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  • Have you thought of being thoroughly investigated for Lyme Disease also? This is not picked up on standard viral testing. Worth looking into as it also has similar symptoms to RRV and can be contracted via a number of insects including ticks and mosquitoes. If you had Lyme disease it could cause recurring symptoms like RRV.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • January 5, 2017
    • 07:26 AM
    • 0
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  • I didn't even know I'd had RRF or BFF until blood tests whilst serving in the RAAF showed I'd had them at some point.. now over 15 years later I too suffer from severe pain in my legs and extreme tiredness. This flares up and I take it easy and it goes away for a bit. I'm lucky in that I am on Fentanyl patches and my doctor also prescribes Targin and 750mg anti inflammatories. So I basically just treat the symptoms and get on with life. I don't imagine I'll see a cure for this in my lifetime so like many of you I just deal with it.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • January 18, 2017
    • 06:48 AM
    • 0
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  • I contracted RRF whilst camping in Aus in 2000. Subsequently, 7 yrs later I was diagnosed with pressure related urticaria (unexplained rash) by a fairly perplexed consultant. The symptoms of both these medical conditions are identical.
    Recent research argues RRF does not reoccur and patients will not experience symptom relapses. This thread heavily contradicts this theory, as do my autoimmune responses to virus and the associated debilitating symptoms.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • January 19, 2017
    • 03:07 PM
    • 0
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