Far Northern home owners face fines for failing to stop dengue spread
THREE property owners are facing fines for failing to prevent mosquito breeding sites, as authorities battle to contain the spread of dengue fever across Cairns.
The dengue tally yesterday climbed to 49, with Queensland Health confirming three more cases of the virus.
Eight Cairns Regional Council pest controllers have bolstered the mosquito-spraying team in a bid to cover more neighbourhoods in the outbreak suburbs of Whitfield, Parramatta Park, Manoora and Mt Sheridan.
Council officers are also inspecting homes and commercial premises on at-risk streets to reduce breed- ing sites.
Three property owners in Whitfield, Bungalow and Freshwater have been issued public health orders since the outbreak started in early December.
If they fail to clean up their properties, they face a $550 on-the-spot fine.
The council's environmental assessment manager Carole Todd said dengue control officers were met with resistance from some residents early in the outbreak but most complied with the requests to enter their properties.
"The majority of people have co-operated brilliantly," she said.
"Once people realise there is a significant risk to themselves, they've been compliant."
She said council inspectors searched for sites that potentially bred the dengue-carrying mosquito the Aedes aegypti.
"It could be anything from a simple child's toy that's been left in the yard, a bucket, a spade, a tyre, guttering, pot plants anything that can hold water, even canoes that have been left in the yard," Ms Todd said.
"It could be anywhere; you can get someone in a very upmarket area go away for a week or so and leave things out in the open that can collect rain."
About 1000 people were infected by dengue fever in 2008-9 but several more people were suspected of unknowingly carrying the virus.
Queensland Health is urging anyone who displays dengue symptoms, which include fever, rash, muscle aches and fatigue, to see their GP immediately to avoid transmitting the virus.
For more information call 1800 DENGUE (336 483) or visit health.qld.gov.au
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Danger zone: Three property owners are facing fines for failing to stop dengue mosquito breeding sites.