23 May 2024

Mer Island dengue outbreak triggers mosquito warning

| Lyndon Keane
Start the conversation

A dengue fever outbreak has been recorded on Mer (Murray) Island in the Torres Strait. Photo: Supplied.

Torres Strait and Cape York residents are being urged to take all possible precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes following a dengue fever outbreak on Mer (Murray) Island.

Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service public health medical officer Dr Allison Hempenstall said, so far, four cases of dengue fever had been identified in residents or recent visitors to the island.

They are the first cases of dengue fever in the TCHHS region since a single case in 2019.

Dr Hempenstall said a public health team would arrive on the island on 27 May to oversee a program of mosquito control, check for any further cases, and deliver information to residents about mosquito-borne diseases and how to minimise risk.

“They will join with Torres Strait Island Regional Council representatives on Mer Island to undertake spraying of potential mosquito breeding sites,’’ she said.

“While mosquitoes tend to be far more prevalent in normally wetter seasonal conditions between November and April, in the tropical north, they are active all year round.

“But no matter the time of year, our advice to local communities remains the same.

“The very best protection against mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes in the first place.’’

Start the conversation

Cape York Weekly

Subscribe to get the latest edition of Cape York Weekly in your inbox each Monday.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Cape York Weekly's terms and conditions and privacy policy.