Added by Annika L. Krugel on March 23, 2011
Two Cairns residents have tested positive for dengue fever, prompting Queensland Health to declare a new outbreak of the mosquito borne disease.
The confirmed outbreak is the first one reported this year in Cairns. According to Queensland Health it has not been established whether the outbreak is related to another outbreak in Innisfail, where 55 people currently have been diagnosed with the virus.
In the latest case, the two Cairns residents reportedly live in the suburbs of Manunda and Mooroobool. Locals in both locations have been informed and warned to take precautions and to try to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds around their homes.
“With movement of people between suburbs, dengue fever can easily spread across Cairns if action isn’t taken to manage mosquito numbers around the home,” said Queensland Health Public Health Medical Officer Dr Steven Donohue.
He added that “Dengue mosquitoes only breed around homes and in urban areas, and not in swamps or creeks.”
The worst recorded dengue fever outbreak in Cairns was two years ago. In 2009, more than 1,000 people were diagnosed with the virus, including one elderly woman who later died.