News

One case is not a dengue outbreak

The Aedes aegypti mosquito can carry dengue fever.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito can carry dengue fever.

QUEENSLAND Health has confirmed a case of dengue fever in Emerald, but warned there had not been any cases of the disease contracted locally.

A resident who recently returned from an overseas holiday tested positive for dengue fever, prompting a region-wide search for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

Environmental Health expert Paul Florian said there was a low risk of local transmission of the viral disease.

"This is not an outbreak," Mr Florian said. "There have been no locally acquired cases.

"Cases of imported dengue fever were not uncommon in Queensland, given the high number of people who travel overseas."

Mr Florian said the Aedes aegypti mosquito was known to have been in Emerald, and while QH was searching for the viral disease carrier, he urged residents to do their bit to eliminate potential breeding sites around their homes.

"Emerald residents can help simply by removing or emptying containers and other items around the home that hold water, to prevent mosquito breeding," he said.

"Recent surveys have found that dengue mosquito numbers are low.

"While the risk of dengue infection may be low, we know that the dengue mosquito likes to live and breed around homes and workplaces, especially in containers and other items that can hold water."

Dr Ewen McPhee said the confirmed case highlighted the need for travellers to be aware of infectious diseases while abroad.

He said travellers should particularly research what type of diseases existed in their destinations, such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue.

"(They should) take precautions where they can, against mosquito-borne illness," Dr McPhee said.

"In general, a visit to a doctor or a travel medicine consultant is a good idea."

He said the risk of contracting dengue fever can be minimised by emptying or removing items around the yard, such as old tyres, buckets, pot plant bases, bird baths, boats, drain sumps, roof guttering and rainwater tanks with damaged or missing screens.


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