You’re not exactly bedridden but your throat is sore and your body aches. Ever had one of those mystery fevers you can’t explain?
Researchers at the CQUniversity think they may have found a culprit: mozzies.
Doctors see so many of these enigmatic, flu-like infections they even have their own name, Undifferentiated Febrile Illnesses or UFIs.
Defined as a fever of more than 38 degrees C, and lasting less than two weeks for which no cause is found. UFIs aren’t life threatening, at least not yet, but they are unpleasant.
And it seems that, in Queensland at least, many are so-called arboviruses. That is, infections spread by mosquitoes.
The findings are important because some arboviruses such as Ross River Fever can be relatively serious. New ones of similar or even greater severity could also emerge.
Lead researcher Professor Andrew Taylor-Robinson says the link between mosquitoes and UFIs in Queensland hasn’t been fully investigated until now.
“A diverse range of host animals including cattle, migratory birds and native mammals such as kangaroos and wallabies were found to provide a blood meal for mosquitoes,” he says.
“These host types are broadly similar to those recognised for their involvement in transmitting the arbovirus of greatest Australian public health interest, Ross River Virus.
“The study aims to increase awareness of the Australian medical community to the potential public health threat, especially to rural communities.”
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