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Dengue in Australia (Rockhampton, Queensland)

29 May 2019

The Central Queensland Public Health Unit  has reported a locally-acquired case of dengue fever in the city of Rockhampton on 24 May 2019. The person has reported no overseas travel or travel to North Queensland, where dengue outbreaks occasionally occur.

Aedes aegypti, a mosquito that transmits dengue, is present in some areas of Rockhampton but this is the first locally-acquired case of the disease in several decades.

Advice for Travellers

All travellers to regions where dengue occurs are potentially at risk of dengue fever and should be aware of this infection. Prevention relies on avoiding mosquito bites.

Aedes mosquitoes are particularly persistent and aggressive and bite between dawn and dusk.

Methods of bite avoidance include:

• Wearing long, loose, lightly coloured clothing to cover up the skin during the day.

• The use of insect repellent containing DEET applied to any exposed skin between dawn and dusk.

• When sunscreen and DEET are used together, DEET should be applied after sunscreen. The effectiveness of repellent reduces more rapidly than sunscreen, therefore, repellent may have to be reapplied on top of sunscreen.

• The use of permethrin, impregnated mosquito nets protects against early morning bites and should also be used when sleeping during the day.

• The use of air conditioning if available and/or mesh screening of windows and doors.

• Eradication of mosquito breeding sites around accommodation/home (e.g. open containers, old tyres or flower pots that may collect water).

Vaccine

No vaccine against dengue fever has been licensed for use in the UK.

For further information see Dengue Fever.