Two Zika cases suspected in Cannonvale and Bowen
BOWEN and Cannonvale residents are being urged to protect themselves against mosquito bites in and around their homes following two suspected cases of imported Zika virus.
Director of Public Health Dr Steven Donohue said there was no connection with the recent South Mackay case as the virus was acquired in different countries.
"The Bowen and Cannonvale travellers become unwell after returning from Bali. They were travelling with another person who lives near Gordonvale and that person has tested positive for Zika," he said.
Dr Donohue said the two women had now recovered, which made getting a definitive diagnosis a longer process as the virus was no longer active in their body.
Testing is ongoing with both women to provide further samples for testing this week.
Zika can be spread by one type of mosquito the Aedes Aegypti which lives only around buildings and breeds in fresh water containers.
If the mosquito bites a sick person, it could catch Zika virus and, after about a week, be able to spread it by biting other people.
Dr Donohue said as a precaution public health teams from Mackay and Townsville were now looking for mosquito breeding sites in Cannonvale.
The Bowen case lives on an isolated property with no aedes Aegypti mosquito population so no control work is required.
"Weekend inspections have found some mosquito breeding sites in Cannonvale and some live mosquitoes which may be aedes Aegypti. Further testing is happening to confirm this," Dr Donohue said.
"The risk that the virus has become established in the Cannonvale mosquito population is low however as a precaution we are looking at properties and undertaking control measures where we do find mosquitoes.
"We know the Airlie Beach area is low risk for aedes Aegypti because we haven't had a dengue outbreak for more than 20 years," he said.
Dr Donohue said regardless of the risk now was a good time for people to take action to rid their property and home of mosquitoes.