Dengue wave played down
THE Townsville Hospital is awaiting results for two patients who have been tested for dengue fever after a shock outbreak of the debilitating virus was declared last week.
Health and environment authorities scrambled during the weekend to contain the outbreak after the first locally acquired case in more than a year was detected on Friday.
A Hermit Park resident tested positive for dengue but the Townsville Hospital public health unit told the Bulletin yesterday no additional cases had yet been detected.
“Two other people are being tested. However, it is unlikely these people have dengue fever as there are no links to the confirmed case,” the unit’s Dr Steven Donohue said.
“Testing for dengue fever occurs quite often but it is infrequent that results are posi-
We believe this is an isolated case or small cluster DR STEVEN DONOHUE
tive.” Dr Donohue said a local response was conducted on Saturday within 200m of the home of the confirmed case.
Also, the home of a family the confirmed case commonly visits was also checked for dengue mosquitoes.
“Several suspected dengue mosquito breeding sites were identified in the response area, however, no other human cases are expected,” he said.
“We believe this is an isolated case or small cluster.”
Dr Donohue said it was important to be tested for dengue if people showed signs of symptoms and early detection was important to protect households and neighbours.
Townsville City Council Environmental Health executive manager Gavin Hammond said staff worked with Queensland Health to complete inspections on Friday and any potential breeding sites in the target area were emptied and treated.
“Our staff remain ready to respond to any further requests for assistance from Queensland Health,” Mr Hammond said. “The … message is for residents to empty and remove any containers in their yards that could become potential breeding sites.”
Eliminate Dengue researchers have been releasing Wolbachia mosquitoes in local suburbs for several months, with early data showing the bacteria is being found in the native mosquito population.
The program is looking for residents in Hermit Park, Hyde Park, Pimlico and Mysterton to host a mosquito trap or a mosquito release container on their property. Sign up online at signuptownsville. com or call 1800 005 622.