Barmah Forest virus

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Barmah Forest Virus
Structure of Barmah Forest virus by cryo-electron microscopy. EMD-1886[1]
Virus classification
Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
Order: Unassigned
Family: Togaviridae
Genus: Alphavirus
Species: Barmah Forest Virus

Barmah Forest virus is an RNA virus in the Alphavirus genus. As of 2015, it has been found only in Australia. Although there is no specific treatment for infection with the Barmah Forest virus, the disease is non-fatal and most infected people recover.[1][2] The virus was discovered in 1974 in mosquitoes in the Barmah Forest in northern Victoria.[3]


The virus can only be transmitted to humans by bites from infected mosquitoes. Direct contact with an infected person or animal does not cause infection.[4] The virus is hosted mainly by marsupials, especially possums, kangaroos and wallabies.[2]


Symptoms include fever, malaise, rash, joint pain, and muscle tenderness. Fever and malaise generally disappear within a few days to a week, but other symptoms such as joint pain may continue for six months or longer.[1][5]

The Barmah Forest virus causes similar symptoms as the Ross River virus, although they usually persist longer in persons infected with the latter.[2][4]


  1. ^ a b c Kostyuchenko, V. A.; Jakana, J.; Liu, X.; Haddow, A. D.; Aung, M.; Weaver, S. C.; Chiu, W.; Lok, S. -M. (2011). "The Structure of Barmah Forest Virus as Revealed by Cryo-Electron Microscopy at a 6-Angstrom Resolution Has Detailed Transmembrane Protein Architecture and Interactions". Journal of Virology 85 (18): 9327–9333. doi:10.1128/JVI.05015-11. PMC 3165765. PMID 21752915. 
  2. ^ a b c Barmah Forest Virus Queensland Health. Queensland Government. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  3. ^ Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus - the facts. Department of Health, Victoria, Australia. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  4. ^ a b Ross River Virus & Barmah Forest Virus in WA. Environmental Health Directorate. Department of Health, Western Australia 2006. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  5. ^ Barmah Forest virus infection. New South Wales Government: Health. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.

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