Dengue outbreak rises to 32 cases

Thursday February 19 2015, 6:45am

 Tropical Public Health Services (Cairns) has this afternoon confirmed a further five cases of locally acquired dengue fever in the Tully / El Arish area.

The additional cases takes the total number of locally acquired dengue cases this season to 32, with 20 cases in the Tully / El Arish outbreak and 12 cases in Cairns.

The Dengue Action Response Team has been on the ground responding to the outbreak in Tully / El Arish since February 10.

Teams remain in the area conducting house visits to prevent the transmission of dengue by conducting interior residual spraying and eliminating possible dengue mosquito breeding sites. 

Since the beginning of this season’s outbreak on 11 December 2014, the Dengue Action Response Team has conducted 1150 inspections, 482 interior residual spray treatments and treated more than 5500 containers. 

Director of Entomology with Tropical Public Health Services (Cairns) Gerhard Ehlers said everyone across the Far North should be taking steps to protect themselves from dengue.

“We are urging people across the region to be extra vigilant, as dengue mosquitoes are urban mosquitoes that bite during the day and breed around homes, rather than in swamps or creeks,” he said.

“Make sure that any mosquito breeding sites are removed from homes and workplaces as it is much easier to prevent breeding sites from developing than it is to eradicate them once they areestablished. 

“It is also important use indoor surface spray, mozzie zappers and coils around the house to kill and repel mosquitoes. Protect yourself and your family further by using repellent.”

Dengue fever causes fever with severe headaches, muscle and joint pains, and other symptoms may include a rash, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Anyone with dengue like symptoms should go to a doctor immediately and get tested for dengue.

During the last dengue season, 136 people were infected with the mosquito-borne disease in the region.