Monday 8 November 2010

Dengue, dengue, dengue, dengue.

Dengue has now spread to the Cairns' suburbs of Westcourt and Parramatta Park, two of the mozi hot spots of the record 2008/09 outbreak that recorded close to a thousand infections.

Two Westcourt residents have been diagnosed with locally-acquired dengue type 2, and Queensland Health has been able to directly link them to the Parramatta Park cases, which began on 29th August.

It brings the total number of cases this season to 19 for Cairns.

Queensland Health Medical Director Dr Jeffrey Hanna said it was important that Westcourt
residents with dengue symptoms should see their doctor immediately and get tested.

“These new cases are a crucial reminder that people need to seek medical attention if they
think they might have dengue,” Dr Hanna says. “This will help target our mosquito control efforts and help stem the current dengue outbreak.”

Dengue fever is not a pleasant experience at all. It causes a dramatic and sudden fever with severe headaches, muscle and joint pains, and cases may have vomiting and diarrhoea, or a rash.
It is spread by infected mosquitoes of only one type, which breeds in and around houses,
and a severe case of the disease can cause confusion, haemorrhage or shock.

Hanna says that we have had 35 known imported cases of dengue fever so far this year, which is a record.

“This means that the virus is being brought into north Queensland more frequently,
increasing the chances of an outbreak," said Dr Hanna. “Local residents and businesses can help reduce this risk and the spread of the current outbreaks by taking action now and not being complacent. It is important that individuals as well as businesses get rid of mosquito breeding sites around the yard and workplace. Dengue mosquitoes only breed around homes and in urban areas, and not in swamps or creeks."

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