Medowie Mother,Shirley Benn battles Ross River Fever

Medowie Mother, Shirley Been, at her home.
Medowie Mother, Shirley Been, at her home.


IN recent weeks, there have been new confirmed cases of Ross River Fever, a mosquito-borne infectious disease.

Medowie mother Shirley Benn is the most recent confirmed case.

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Shirley told News Of The Area, “My symptoms started last week with very sore feet, which quickly spread until I was aching and sore all over.”

“I initially attended the chemist to obtain pain relief, thinking I just had a bad flu or virus coming on, but soon had to book an appointment with my GP as my symptoms rapidly increased.”

“I was in so much pain and noticed some rashes on my face, then on my legs, stomach , shoulders and arms,” she said.

One of the first questions asked by Shirley’s doctor was had she been bitten by anything.

Shirley recalled being bitten by a mosquito last week, a few days prior to her symptoms beginning.
Shirley’s doctor diagnosed Ross River Fever after some blood work, and she is now on penicillin to try and kill the virus as fast as possible.

Shirley told News Of The Area, “I am on painkillers but they aren’t providing much relief.”

“Today the pain is worse than yesterday, yesterday I couldn’t use my left leg at all, this evening my right leg is gradually getting worse and it’s now in my elbows as well and my shoulder is starting to feel the pain.”
Dr Paul Burford, from Central Health Alliance, told News Of The Area, “To protect against mosquitoes and reduce the risk of diseases they transmit, you should cover-up with a loose-fitting long sleeved shirt and long pants when outside.”

“You need to apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin, take special care during peak mosquito biting hours, especially around dawn and dusk, and remove potential mosquito breeding sites from around the home and screen windows and doors.”

“If you are concerned you may be suffering from this condition, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible,” he said.

Shirley is urging the community to be vigilant, but not alarmed.

“I’ve basically gone from spending time in the gym to sitting in the wheelchair as I can’t stand up to walk at all,” she said.

“A few minor precautions and I could have potentially avoided this.”


By Rachael VAUGHAN

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