Health alert – dengue fever

In Central Queensland, News, Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay by Jasmin Midgley

Locally acquired case of Dengue in Central Queensland

As of 24 May 2019 Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service has confirmed Dengue in a Rockhampton resident who has not travelled overseas, nor to Far North Queensland.

Central Queensland Public Health Unit (CQPHU) is investigating this case and the place of local acquisition is uncertain.  It is presumed the virus has been imported by an overseas traveller and surveillance and control measures for the dengue mosquito are being implemented.

Please notify suspected cases of Dengue immediately to Central Queensland Public Health Unit 4920 6989 or
by fax 4920 6865. Do not wait for test results before notifying.

Test suspects early for the viruses by PCR or NS1 detection. The onset date is important for testing:

Test Period of positivity

• Dengue PCR positive for around 5 days in blood after onset of symptoms
• Dengue NS1 only positive for around first 9 days after onset of symptoms
• IgM may not be positive until 5-7 days after onset of symptoms
The incubation period is typically 4-5 (up to 12) days. Dengue presents as a short, non-specific viral illness.

Typical features are listed below, however there is a spectrum of illness and it may be mild:

• sudden fever; lethargy; headache (often behind the eyes)
• muscle, bone and joint pain
• anorexia; taste aberrations (a foul or metallic taste)
• a fine maculopapular rash (itchiness and desquamation may accompany a rash)
• full blood count may show leukopenia and / or thrombocytopenia

Symptoms of dengue fever

  • Sudden onset of fever
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Intense headaches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rashes
  • Minor bleeding from the nose or gums and/or heavy menstrual periods

Advise any person who might have Dengue to:
• Stay home so they don’t spread the disease to other places
• Have someone stay with them to watch for complications
• Use insect repellent and mosquito coils or mozzie zappers in the house
• Use an insect surface spray in dark hiding places e.g. under furniture and in wardrobes
• Get rid of mosquito breeding sites in and around the house – tip or throw out anything holding water,
and clean out roof gutters

Find and print the original advice here.