Aedes albopictus mosquito
Aedes albopictus mosquito AbelBrata

Dengue fever checks being conducted in North Rocky suburb

10.45AM: Authorities are conducting dengue fever checks and door knocking residents in Park Avenue. 

A Queensland Health spokeswoman announced the suburb location at a press conference at the Rockhampton Hospital this morning and assured the public that the person diagnosed with dengue fever is now at home and recovering.

While checks are taking place in Park Avenue, it has not been confirmed as the location where the dengue mosquito bite happened. 

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There are four types of the dengue virus that cause dengue fever - Dengue Type 1, 2, 3 and 4. People become immune to a particular type of dengue virus once they've had it, but can still get sick from the other types of dengue if exposed.

Catching different types of dengue, even years apart, increases the risk of developing severe dengue. Severe dengue causes bleeding and shock, and can be life threatening. There have been deaths in Queensland from severe dengue.

9.10AM: At 10am Queensland Health is expected to release the name of the Rockhampton suburb where a case of dengue fever was confirmed this week. 

It is the first case of the mosquito-borne infection in the region in decades. 

The person who contracted the disease has fully recovered and returned home. 

The person has no history of overseas travel or travel to North Queensland, where dengue outbreaks are known to occur.

Authorities have been door-knocking on the homes of those within the suburb this morning to check on residents' health statuses and provide dengue management plans.

INITIAL STORY: FOR the first time in decades, a Rockhampton resident has been confirmed with dengue fever.

A full outbreak response is being enacted by the Central Queensland Public Health Unit and the council with residents near the individual's home being door-knocked from today.

Last night, Queensland Health would not release the affected suburb.

The person has no history of overseas travel or travel to North Queensland, where dengue outbreaks are known to occur and has now fully recovered.

Dr Gulam Khandaker, director of the Central Queensland Public Health Unit, said the aedes aegypti, a mosquito capable of transmitting dengue, was known to be present in some areas of Rockhampton but as mosquito numbers are small and in areas with low population density, locally acquired cases do not usually occur.

"The mosquito that transmits dengue lives and breeds around domestic premises and bites during the day," he said.

"Typical symptoms of dengue fever can include sudden onset of fever, extreme tiredness, intense headache, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, rash, minor bleeding from the nose or gums and/or heavy menstrual periods.

"The dengue virus does not spread directly from person to person."

 

The aedes-aegypti mosquito which causes dengue fever is found in small numbers in small pockets in Rockhampton.
The aedes-aegypti mosquito which causes dengue fever is found in small numbers in small pockets in Rockhampton.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and Dr Khandaker said anyone with these symptoms should see their GP immediately to arrange a dengue fever test.

"Queensland Health has comprehensive dengue management plans to manage cases and outbreaks of dengue but the best protection against mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue, is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes," he said.

There are a number of methods in which resident can protect themselves including using mosquito coils or plug-in mosquito repellent devices inside, screen living and sleeping areas, wear long-sleeved, light-coloured clothing, and cover your feet.

Use insect repellent containing DEET (diethyl toluamide) or picaridin and reapply according to the label.

More information on dengue fever is available on the Queensland Health website or by calling 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).



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