Ross River virus disease in tropical Queensland: evoluton of rheumatic manifestations in an inception cohort followed for six months
Harley, D and Bossingham, D and Purdie, D and Pandeya, N and Sleigh, AC, Ross River virus disease in tropical Queensland: evoluton of rheumatic manifestations in an inception cohort followed for six months, Medical Journal of Australia, 177, (7) pp. 352-355. ISSN 0025-729X (2002) [Refereed Article]
Objective: To describe the natural history of rheumatic manifestations of Ross River virus (RRV) disease. Design: Prospective longitudinal clinical review. Setting: North Queensland local government areas of Cairns, Douglas, Mareeba and Atherton during January to May 1998. Participants: General practice patients diagnosed with RRV disease on the basis of symptoms and a positive RRV IgM result. Main outcome measures: Rheumatic symptoms and signs assessed as soon as possible after disease onset and on two subsequent occasions (up to 6.5 months after onset). Results: 57 patients were recruited, 47 of whom were reviewed three times (at means of 1.1, 2.4 and 3.6 months after disease onset). Results are reported for these 47: 46 (98%) complained of joint pain at first review, with the ankles, wrists, fingers, knees and metacarpophalangeal joints (II-IV) most commonly involved. Prevalence of joint pain decreased progressively on second and third reviews, both overall (92% and 68% of patients, respectively), and in the five joints most commonly affected. The prevalence of other common rheumatic symptoms and signs, and use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also progressively declined over the three reviews. Conclusions: Earlier studies may have overestimated the prevalence and duration of symptoms in RRV disease. Progressive resolution over 3-6 months appears usual.