Two dengue cases reported in Cairns suburb
A DENGUE fever outbreak is expected to be declared today after two Cairns people were struck down with virus symptoms.
Queensland Health yesterday warned the city to begin taking precautions and remove breeding sites from their homes.
Blood tests are likely to confirm that two people from Mt Sheridan have contracted dengue.
"An initial blood test shows dengue," Tropical Public Health physician Dr Richard Gair said.
"Even though we haven't got 100 per cent confirmation, we suspect it is. They (the two suspected cases) live very close to each other."
Health authorities last month warned conditions were conducive to a dengue epidemic this summer.
Populations of the dengue mosquito (aedes aegypti) have been as high as they were prior to the 2008-09 outbreak when 1000 people were infected. Enough rain has fallen to create pools of stagnant water and travellers from all over the world, including dengue hotspots such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, have been to Cairns.
"The two people (suspected of being infected) haven't travelled outside the country so someone has brought it in," Dr Gair said.
Dengue Action Response Team officers have visited streets surrounding the homes of the two people to warn residents and spray.
Dr Gair said the public had the biggest role to play in preventing an outbreak.
"The DART team can only do what they can do," he said.
"Residents need to take precautions. The more cases you get, the more difficult it is to control."
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Danger: A dengue fever outbreak is expected in Cairns.