Dengue intervention on Thursday Island (Torres Strait) 2004: a blueprint for the future?

Montgomery, Brian L., Ritchie, Scott A., Hart, Alistair J., Long, Sharron A., and Walsh, Ian D. (2005) Dengue intervention on Thursday Island (Torres Strait) 2004: a blueprint for the future? Arbovirus Research in Australia, 9. pp. 268-273.

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Abstract

Dengue Fever outbreaks have become an increasingly frequent feature of far north Queensland. In 2003-2004 there were 7 outbreaks, dominated by 2 large outbreaks of Dengue 2 virus (DENV-2) in Cairns (469 cases) and in the remote Torres Strait (276 cases). This was mostly the result of cases being imported through tourism and the cross-border treaty between indigenous Torres Strait islanders and Papua New Guinea (PNG), respectively. The Torres Strait is a narrow body of water between the Australian mainland and PNG that hosts 15 inhabited islands, with the largest population of ca. 3,000 on Thursday Island (TI). Several Torres Strait islands have endured at least 3 dengue fever outbreaks; 1981-2 (DENV-I; Kay et aJ. 1984), 1995-6 (DENV-2; Hanna et aJ. 1998) and 2003-4 (DENV-2, Qld Health unpublished data). The latest outbreak originated on Yam Island in October 2003, but was only notified in November 2003 upon the diagnosis of dengue haemorrhagic fever (DENV-2) in 2 critically ill women that had been airlifted to Cairns Base Hospital. Both women recovered following prolonged intensive care hospitalisation and rehabilitation. Unfortunately, by this time other viraemic travellers had infected the mosquito population on TI.

In response, members of the Qld Health's Dengue Action Response Team (DART) assisted local TI Primary Health Care vector control staff in perfonning dengue control operations between November 2003 and March 2004. These operations included localised source reduction, interior application of surface-spray, treatment of un screened rainwater tanks and roof gutters with s-methoprene (Hanna et aJ. 2001) and limited deployment of sticky and lethal ovitraps (Ritchie et al. 2003, 2004). Recent laboratory research (Knox et al.2003) indicated that Aedes aegypti (L.) on TI were much more effective at transmitting dengue (DENV-2 and DENV-4) than mainland populations in Cairns or Townsville. The advent of the 2004 wet season increased the risk of transmission by producing large numbers of mosquitoes. These operations were successful in preventing an explosive outbreak but were unable to prevent transmission

Item ID: 5804
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Australia; dengue; virus
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ISSN: 0725-4989
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2009 05:32
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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