Dengue fever outbreak spreading across Cairns



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An outbreak of dengue fever in Cairns, in far north Queensland, continues to cause alarm as the number now affected has reportedly reached 50 and appears to be rising.

Queensland Health says another 12 people are awaiting blood test results and six people have been admitted to hospital.

Worse hit suburbs for the mosquito-borne disease are North Cairns, Parramatta Park and Whitfield and Dr.. Jeffrey Hannah from the Tropical Population Health Service is urging those who become sick to see their doctor - some northern beaches suburbs are also affected - it is suspected that the outbreak is spreading to other suburbs.

Dr. Hannah says typical symptoms are the sudden onset of a high fever, very unpleasant headache, profound lethargy, muscle aches and pains and a rash and suspected carriers who fail to seek medical advice could spread the disease wherever they went.

Authorities are monitoring several more suburbs close to the infected zones or where properties are conducive to breeding dengue mosquitoes.

The public in all suburbs is being warned to clear stagnant water in pot plants, car tires, palm fronds and any other containers - use insect repellent - wear personal repellent during the day and re-apply it according to the label and use plug-in mosquito zappers, and also use cockroach surface spray under tables, chairs and beds in the home.

A severe strain known as dengue haemorrhagic fever can be fatal.

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