Dengue claims first cases of 2015

FILE This undated handout file photo provided by the Agriculture Department shows an aede

FILE This undated handout file photo provided by the Agriculture Department shows an aedes aegypti mosquito on human skin. (AP Photo/USDA, File) Picture: Ap Source: News Corp Australia

QUEENSLAND’S first outbreak of dengue fever for the year has been identified, with two confirmed cases and a suspected case in the Cairns suburb of Edmonton.

The Cairns-based Tropical Public Health Services director Richard Gair urged residents to take precautions to avoid the potentially deadly mosquito-borne disease, which causes a fever with severe headaches and muscle and joint pain.

Other symptoms can include a rash, vomiting and diarrhoea.

“Dengue mosquitoes are urban mosquitoes that feed during the day and breed around homes, rather than in swamps or creeks,” Dr Gair said.

“While we have had a dry start to the wet season, these confirmed cases show we can’t be complacent and only a small amount of water can make areas perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”

Common dengue mosquito breeding sites include buckets, toys, pot plant bases and blocked roof gutters.

“Take the time to check yards and tip out, flush out, throw away or store dry any containers holding water in which mosquitoes can breed,” Dr Gair said. “It is also important to use indoor surface spray, mozzie zappers and coils around the house to kill and repel mosquitoes.

“Protect yourself and your family further by using repellent and wearing light-coloured clothing.”

Queensland recorded 380 cases of dengue fever in 2014.