Moises Castilloap

"Imported zika virus" may have landed in far north Qld

HEALTH authorities are ­investigating a suspected case of imported zika virus on Thursday Island.

Tropical Public Health Services director Dr Richard Gair said there was also a chance the Thursday Island resident had contracted dengue fever and not zika.

"At this stage we are still awaiting conclusive testing ­results to determine whether the male resident has zika or dengue, or some other illness,'' he said.

"We are also mindful that the resident in question had recently travelled to a country where zika infection is a risk.''

In the meantime a second case of dengue fever has been confirmed on Boigu Island in the Torres Strait. It is the second locally acquired case of dengue in the past two months.

Dr Gair said it was a timely reminder for anyone living in the tropics to take preventive measures.

"Dengue fever cannot be transmitted directly from human to human and can only be transmitted from one person to another by mosquitoes," he said.

"So the best prevention is to take action to protect yourself, and especially young children and babies, against bites."

He said it was important to spray inside homes in areas where aedes aegypti mosquitoes lived as they were the mosquitoes that transmitted dengue fever and zika virus.

Symptoms of zika include a skin rash, red itchy eyes, fever, muscle and joint pains, headaches and lack of energy.

Dengue fever has similar symptoms.


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