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Pogosta disease

Abstract

Pogosta disease is a viral disease, established to be identical with other diseases, Karelian fever and Ockelbo disease. The names are derived from the words Pogosta, Karelia and Ockelbo, respectively.

The symptoms of the disease include usually rash, as well as mild fever and other flu-like symptoms; in most cases the symptoms last less than 5 days. However, in some cases, the patients develop a painful arthritis. There are no known chemical agents available to treat the disease.

It has long been suspected that the disease is caused by a Sindbis-like virus, a positive-stranded RNA virus belonging to the Alphavirus genus and family Togaviridae. In 2002 a strain of Sindbis was isolated from patients during an outbreak of the Pogosta disease in Finland, confirming the hypothesis.

This disease is mainly found in the Eastern parts of Finland; a typical Pogosta disease patient is a middle-aged person who has been infected through a mosquito bite while picking berries in the autumn. The prevalence of the disease is about 100 diagnosed cases every year, with larger outbreaks occurring in 7-year intervals.