Dengue wave played down

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - RACHEL RI­LEY rachel. ri­ley@ news. com. au

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.

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