Cyclone Yasi causes dengue fever outbreak in Queensland

GPs in north Queensland are on alert for dengue fever presentations in the wake of Cyclone Yasi, with an outbreak in Innisfail of a “particularly virulent” strain.

Tropical regional services medical officer Dr Steven Donohue said Innisfail, south of Cairns, had 24 confirmed cases last week. “More than half have required hospitalisation due to dehydration and exhaustion,” he said. 

Two strains of dengue – type 2 and type 4 – were circulating concurrently in the town, while further south Townsville had cases of dengue type 1 and type 4. Recent rain and debris from the cyclone were creating ideal mosquito breeding conditions.