'Going to explode': Gladstone woman suffers infectious disease

TERRIBLE IMPACT: The Observer's own Danae Jackson lives with chronic pain after contracting Ross River virus.
TERRIBLE IMPACT: The Observer's own Danae Jackson lives with chronic pain after contracting Ross River virus. Paul Braven GLA180717RRVIRUS

BOYNE Island's Danae Jackson first contracted Ross River Fever 25 years ago.

"I was covered in a rash, with sore ankle joints and eventually my whole body was racked in pain," she said.

"I got really sick and had a headache that made my head feel like it was going to explode. I just slept all day.

"It was endless fatigue, I couldn't do anything but sleep."

The worst of the illness lasted for about three months, flaring up every year for a few years, before finally sitting dormant.

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Then a couple of weeks before she arrived in Gladstone, just over a year ago, it flared up again.

"At first the blood tests for Ross River were negative, then a few weeks later they returned positive," Danae said.

"It was a year before I felt totally well again.

"It's like having arthritis through your whole body - my joints were really inflamed and no medication helped.

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"I couldn't find anything to reduce its affects."

Today Danae feels healthy and is working full-time.

Knowing the virus lies dormant and could resurface at any time, the idea that a treatment may finally be on the horizon is something she's waited a long time to hear.

Topics:  medical ross river fever

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