RISING: Thirteen cases of Dengue fever have been confirmed in Central Queensland.
RISING: Thirteen cases of Dengue fever have been confirmed in Central Queensland. Contributed

Message for Gladstone as Dengue fever cases rise

THIRTEEN cases of dengue fever have been confirmed in Central Queensland, however Gladstone residents need not panic.

That's according to Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service environmental health manager Paul Florian who said all the recent cases had been confined to Rockhampton.

He said all cases were physically well, and all have strong connections with Park Avenue and Kawana in Rockhampton.

"Aedes aegypti (dengue-transmitting) mosquitoes usually only fly between 50 and 200 metres, depending on availability of food and breeding sites,” Mr Florian said.

"They do not breed in rivers, swamps, creeks, bushland or mangroves.”

He said it should be noted that the dengue mosquito has been detected in Gladstone in past surveys.

"Detections have been limited to a small number of areas,” he said.

"Recent experience at Rockhampton indicates that the weather conditions have been supportive for the dengue mosquito to continue to breed.

"The dengue mosquito lays its eggs on the sides of containers. The eggs can last for several months until conditions are right for hatching.”

He said it was best practise for residents to keep their yards free of containers that create breeding areas for mosquitoes.

"This includes old tyres, self-watering pot plants and pot plant saucers, palm fronds, pet bowls, bromeliads, and toys,” he said.

"Get rid of any containers that are not needed. Tip out any water, wipe the container and dry store under cover if the container is needed.

"Check rainwater tanks for mosquito screening and have them repaired if needed. Empty bird baths and scrub them at least weekly before refilling.”

He said the best way to reduce the risk of dengue is to remove all breeding places for the mosquito.

Liana Walker