Dengue Dengue

In response to recent cases of dengue fever in Ingham, officers of the Hinchinbrook Shire Council together with the Townsville Public Health Unit conducted a joint response to eliminate mosquito breeding sites around homes. During this response officers sprayed inside and underneath homes in the high risk areas, conducted inspections of yards and gardens, distributed personal insect repellent and dengue information brochures.

Council is pleased to announce that most properties inspected did not present mosquito breeding sites, but wishes to remind residences and businesses that continuing diligence in this regard can help to prevent any further incidences of locally transmitted dengue fever in the Hinchinbrook Shire.

The symptoms

Symptoms of dengue fever include:

*      sudden fever

*      severe headaches

*      muscle and joint pain

*      possibly vomiting and diarrhoea

*      possibly a rash.

The mosquito

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, that is responsible for transmitting dengue fever:

*      is distinctively black and white;

*      breeds in places that hold water including containers, pet bowls, roof gutters, tyres, pot plant bases and within water holding plants such as bromeliads;

*      is attracted to the carbon dioxide emitted by humans when we exhale;

*      rarely flies more than 200 metres from the breeding site;

*      feed only on human blood;

*      is predominantly an indoor day biting mosquito;

*      hides in sheltered areas inside houses such as under tables, chairs, beds and behind curtains;

*      prefers to feed on humans but will also feed on domestic animals.

The mosquito's eggs:

*      are usually laid in artificial containers

*      are attached to the sides of the container just above the waterline

*      are oblong in shape and about 1mm long

*      are white when laid and then turn black; and

*      remain viable out of water for several months.

It is therefore essential that containers such as dog bowls, bird baths etc are regularly given a quick scrub to remove the eggs.

This mosquito does not breed in creeks and swamps.

(QLD Health, 2013)