Thursday 21 May 2009

Townsville dengue outbreak over

This morning Queensland Health declared that the Townsville dengue fever outbreak is

"The outbreak, which began in the area on 4 January this year, saw 73 people
confirmed with the mosquito-borne disease, with 57 dengue type 1 cases and 16
dengue type 3 cases," says Tropical Population Health Services Public Health Physician Dr Steven Donohue.

"No new cases had been diagnosed since late February, but local residents should remain dengue aware due to active outbreaks still ongoing in Cairns and Innisfail."

“Our policy is to allow a three-month period to elapse after the last new dengue case
has been notified before making an ‘all-clear’ declaration,” said Dr Donohue.

“This is just in case low level dengue transmission might still be occurring. Now this
period has elapsed, we can officially call the outbreak over. However, with the people movement between Townsville and Cairns, there is a chance of another dengue outbreak starting in Townsville, so I urge all residents to stay dengue alert.”

The Townsville outbreak came during a record dengue epidemic in Cairns, with more
than 900 people infected by the type 3 outbreak, which has also seeded dengue
outbreaks in Yarrabah, Port Douglas, Injinoo and Mareeba.

The added complication with this outbreak was that there was also significant dengue activity in Cairns.

The current dengue type 3 epidemic in north Queensland is the largest dengue outbreak on record for at least 50 years. Townsville recorded 46 cases in a 13-week period two years ago.

Meanwhile, an alert CairnsBlog reader, driving past Cairns Regional Council's Marytn Street Works Depot, spotted two mosquitoes flying away, so they wouldn't catch Dengue.

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