The Mackay Public Health Unit is responding to a suspected imported dengue case in a Bowen resident.
Public Health Medical Officer Dr Steven Donohue said the person had recently been overseas and became sick after returning.
“Unfortunately, sometimes it can take a week or so for the virus to be identified,” Dr Donohue said.
“We have not yet had confirmation of this case; we are awaiting results from our reference laboratory in Brisbane.”
Dr Donohue has recommended that all residents take immediate action to reduce the risk of a Dengue outbreak.
“Dengue is a horrible illness, and serious complications can occur,” Dr Donohue said.
Dengue virus is normally not present in Bowen; however, imported cases from tropical countries could cause it to spread via local dengue mosquitoes.
Dr Donohue said dengue mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) only bred around homes and in urban areas, not in swamps or creeks.
“I urge all residents, particularly those in Bowen, to take immediate action to prevent dengue cases,” he said.
Specifically, this means:
- once a week check yards for mosquito breeding. Tip out, flush out, throw away or dry-store any containers holding water in which mosquitoes can breed
- use indoor surface spray, mozzie zappers and coils around the house to discourage dengue mosquitoes and avoid being bitten.
- If the team of professionals arrive and offer to spray your place, let them do so.
Common dengue-mosquito breeding sites include tyres, buckets, toys and pot-plant bases.
Residents are also urged to ensure roof gutters are not blocked and breeding mosquitoes.
Dengue fever has many symptoms and people usually experience a combination of symptoms including:
- sudden fever and extreme tiredness
- intense headache (especially behind the eyes)
- muscle and joint pain
- loss of appetite
- vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain
- a metallic taste in the mouth
- red or macular (small, flat red spots) rash occurs in half of cases
- minor bleeding from nose and gums
If you are concerned, visit your GP immediately.
Please note: this is a suspected imported case and not confirmed at this time. It is not an outbreak. We do not yet have local transmission.
More information about dengue fever is available at www.health.qld.gov.au/dengue