The NSW Government has sent a public health warning to people in the Muswellbrook and Port Macquarie areas, advising them to stay inside after confirmation of four cases of dengue fever. The Department of Health says that mosquitoes are thought to be carrying the virus, but it is unclear how they were infected. It’s also not clear whether there will be restrictions for other parts of New South Wales or Queensland as well, but this seems likely given the high number of cases.
The symptoms of this particular strain of dengue fever include vomiting, headaches and joint pain. The illness usually lasts around five days. Professor John Oxford from Queen Mary University said that it is actually very hard to contract the virus in Australia due to our climate conditions. He also added that people hardly ever get sick from it, even if they are infected. Around one in every four people who get the virus don’t show any symptoms at all.
If you do feel sick, head to your GP for treatment. If you have a fever, give them a call ahead of time so they can prepare the right medicines. They will be able to treat you accordingly over the phone if necessary.
If you have been travelling anywhere recently, including Sydney’s CBD or suburbs, New South Wales might want to check out your digs as well. Remove any standing water from around your house and make sure all windows are closed before sundown. The mosquitoes that carry the virus usually come out around 6pm. If you do get sick, don’t go to work or school for at least five days after the fever goes away.
Until further notice, avoid crowded areas like shopping centres, sports stadiums and movie theatres near Port Macquarie and Muswellbrook in order to prevent cross-contamination of the virus with other people in your vicinity. More information about this illness can be found here .