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January 5th 2009
Dengue fever outbreak in Townsville

Residents of Townsville and Magnetic Island are urged to protect themselves against dengue fever, with two confirmed locally-acquired cases having been identified recently.

An unrelated man and a woman, both from North Ward, have been confirmed as having contracted dengue fever type 1. This is a different strain to that which is currently causing the outbreak of dengue fever in Cairns.

Acting Director with Tropical Population Health Services in Townsville, Mr David Sellars, said mosquito surveillance and control work was under way in North Ward.

Townsville City Council staff are assisting Tropical Population Health Services in mosquito control efforts.

Mr Sellars said it was important for all Townsville residents to protect themselves now against dengue to avoid an escalation of the outbreak.

"Residents should avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and get rid of breeding sites such as old tyres, buckets, toys and pot plant bases around their homes and workplaces. Residents should also ensure that roof gutters are not blocked and breeding mosquitoes."

Residents are advised to: once a week, check your yard for mosquito breeding. Tip out, flush out, throw away or store dry any containers holding water in which mosquitoes can breed, wear insect repellent if being bitten, especially during the day
use surface spray, mozzie zappers and coils around the house to discourage mosquitoes.

"The message is - if you stop the mosquito breeding, you can stop the disease."

People with symptoms of dengue - such as fever, headache, rash, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea, and fatigue - should see a doctor immediately. There is no medical cure for dengue fever and no vaccine. The serious form of the disease, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever, can be fatal, especially in young children.

General practitioners are urged to report any suspected cases of dengue fever to Tropical Population Health Services.

Attention Magnetic Times News Club readers. Many News Club readers are presently experiencing repeated emailed alerts to our stories in their in-trays. This is a problem with our server which we are presently working to resolve. In the meantime we hope that you will accept our apologies for this annoying glitch. Ed.

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

Dengue fever outbreak in Townsville
January 5th 2009
Having been part of the survey team on dengue fever for the Townsville City Council a few years ago, I learnt that you have to actually be next to the person who has the fever and be bitten by a mosquito that has bitten them to acquire the fever.
If you disturb water every few days, this prevents the maturity of the larvae. It takes 7 days for the larvae to mature. Palm sheaths are another place for breeding, so clean them up and if you store them on your property, turn them downwards to prevent water collecting in them.
January 8th 2009
This may help - a report that white vinegar added to the water collected in bromidiads and plant trays etc, could discourage the mozzies breeding. Seems to work.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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