Eighth dengue case confirmed

Monday January 19 2015, 10:40am

A confirmed case of dengue fever at Trinity Beach has the bought total number of cases of the disease to eight. 

This is the most northern case of the disease in the current outbreak, with previous cases being reported in the southern Cairns suburb of Edmonton.

Measures for preventing exposure to the disease still focus on finding and tipping out sources of stagnant water around the house. 

Douglas Shire Council executive officer Kerrie Hawkes said that while council was on the lookout for dengue cases, the biggest responsibility for preventing spread of the disease lay with residents.

“Council pro-actively monitors sites around the Shire for dengue mosquitoes, and responds to enquiries from concerned residents,” Ms Hawkes said. 

“The community also plays a key role in controlling dengue mosquito in the Shire.  Regularly clearing gutters of leaf litter, emptying water containers and keeping yards clear of water holding objects like tyres and palm fronds will assist in eliminating breeding opportunities.  

Newsport readers have also asked if council will carry out fogging to kill mosquitos in the wild but Ms Hawkes said the activity would be ineffective.

“Preventative fogging for dengue mosquitos is not carried out by Council,” she said. 

“Dengue mosquitos breed in small amounts of clean, still water found in and around homes.  Fogging of swamps, creeks, drains and bushland has no affect on dengue mosquitos, they are simply not found there.”

If someone exhibits dengue symptoms - including sudden fever, headache and skin rashes - they should see a doctor immediately. 

If dengue is confirmed in that patient through a blood test, officers from Tropical Public Health and the Dengue Action Response Team may visit the patient’s house to check for the presence of Ades Aegypti mosquitoes and may also use Internal Reside Spraying (IRS) to suppress dengue activity for up to six weeks. 

While most people that are infected with dengue will have no or mild symptoms, about 5 per cent can have serious symptoms and for a small proportion of victims the disease can be life-threatening.

During the last dengue season, 137 people contracted the disease.