Dengue prevention starts at home

Residents are being encouraged to clean up around their homes to help prevent the spread of dengue.

Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday region councils have once again joined forces to create awareness around the issue.

The campaign is part of an EHWIM (Environmental Health Whitsunday Isaac and Mackay) initiative.

Whitsunday Mayor Andrew Willcox advised residents to familiarise themselves with the warning signs of dengue.

“Last year a dengue fever case was confirmed in Bowen,” he said.

“The resident had returned home from overseas and became unwell.

“The symptoms of dengue fever include headaches, fevers, aches and pains, nausea, vomiting and, in some rare cases, can result in death.

“If you experience any of these symptoms, please see a doctor immediately.”

Mackay Regional Council’s Cr Karen May said dengue mosquitoes bred in stagnant water around houses.

“Dengue mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) only breed around homes and in urban areas, not in swamps or creeks,” she said.

“To help prevent a dengue outbreak, it is important to tip out any water in pot plant bases and containers, store items that can hold water in a dry spot or undercover, throw out any rubbish lying around and clean out your gutters.

“Dengue mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to breed in, so it’s important to keep the area around your house clean and free of items where water can accumulate, especially in the wet season.”

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said residents in an area prone to mosquitos should take adequate steps to protect themselves from being bitten

“When outdoors make sure you wear long sleeves, trousers, a hat and use an effective insect repellent,” she said.

“It is also a good idea to make sure your window and door screens do not have any holes in them to prevent mosquitoes from entering your house.”

For further dengue prevention tips, visit your local council’s website mackay.qld.gov.au/dengue or Queensland Health’s website health.qld.gov.au/dengue.