Pogosta disease (PD), an epidemic rash-arthritis occurring in late summer is caused by Sindbis virus (SINV) and is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Altogether 2183 PD cases were serologically confirmed 1981-96 in Finland, with an annual incidence of 2.7/100000 (18 in the most endemic area of Northern Karelia). The annual average was 136 (varying from 1 to 1282) with epidemics occurring in August-September with a 7-year interval. Studies on 6320 patients with suspected rubella (1973-89) revealed 107 PD cases. The depth of snow cover and the temperature in May-July seemed to predict the number of cases. The morbidity was highest in 45- to 65-year-old females and lowest in children. Subclinical SINV infections were 17 times more common than the clinical ones. The SINV-antibody prevalence in fertile-age females was 0.6% in 1992; the estimated seroprevalence in Finland is about 2%. Among game animals the tetraonids (black grouse and capercaillie) had the highest seroprevalence (65%) in the epidemic year of 1981.