Ross River Fever – Part II
What are the Medical Treatments for Ross River Fever?
There is no specific medical or drug treatment for Ross River Virus. Most commonly patients are simply advised by their doctor to go home and rest. Sometimes in cases of severe joint pain drugs are used to manage these symptoms or drugs such as paracetamol may be recommended to reduce the fever.
My Treatment Approach for Ross River Fever
The doctor’s advice to rest is extremely valid and it is important to do so as much as possible.
The most important thing to do in any infection is to improve immunity. My favourite herbs for this purpose, particularly in the case of RRV are Andrographis and Echinacea. Hypericum can be used for its antiviral activity, however only specific preparations will be beneficial. Hypericum may interact with some drug so should always be prescribed by a health care professional. These herbs need to be prescribed in the correct proportions and at the correct dosage to suit the individual person and their symptoms. I will often prescribe a high dose of Vitamin C and other nutrients to improve immunity depending on the person’s underlying nutritional status. Symptoms change over time and in accordance with this, the naturopath treatment and dosage also changes. This is important to achieve the best health outcomes.
In naturopathic medicine fever management is a fundamental component of helping the body to fight an infection. After all, fever is one of the ways that the body does this. It makes good sense to support this process, rather than trying to reduce or suppress the fever with drugs such as paracetamol. I prescribe diaphoretic herbs which help to optimise the fever process and make it much more efficient in dealing with the infection. Naturally, great care must be taken when managing fever in children and should only be done by an expert in the field.
Managing the various symptoms such as joint and muscle pain can be achieved very effectively with a number of different herbal medicines. The particular herbs I prescribe will depend on the degree of the inflammation and the degree and nature of the pain.
Follow-up Patient Management
I cannot stress the importance of follow-up management enough. Ross River Fever is one of the conditions that is reputed to recur and it commonly precedes chronic fatigue syndrome and other post viral syndromes.
For these reasons it is not only important to manage and treat the acute infection very efficiently and quickly, it is absolutely vital that follow-up post infection treatment is given. This minimises the risk of a recurrence and certainly reduces the risk of long-term fatigue and general ill-health.
Immune enhancing treatments need to be continued for a period of time after symptoms resolve. This is because the symptoms disappear long before the actual virus is total out of the system. As mentioned previously the virus can exist at low levels, causing no symptoms at all, until a person becomes run down, stressed or has reduced immunity for some reason.
I have a wide range of different herbs and nutrients that I choose from to ensure that complete recovers occurs. I also discuss with my clients many dietary and lifestyle factors they will remain symptom free and be able to experience good health into the future.