No dengue transmission in Wolbachia release sites in Cairns

Queensland Health has recently confirmed a number of dengue cases in the Cairns region. However, we are encouraged to see there have been no locally acquired dengue cases in suburbs where Wolbachia is present in the majority of the local Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that contain Wolbachia have a reduced ability to transmit dengue.

To date, Wolbachia has established in the local mosquito populations in Yorkeys Knob, Babinda, Machans Beach, Stratford and areas of Gordonvale, Edge Hill, Whitfield and Parramatta Park. In some of our inner-city field trial sites, we are still working to establish Wolbachia as these areas are less isolated and mosquito movement is not restricted by natural geographical boundaries (which increases the likelihood of mosquitoes without Wolbachia entering the site).

Since 2011, we have released Wolbachia mosquitoes in the following suburbs:

  • Yorkeys Knob and areas of Gordonvale (2011)
  • Areas of Edge Hill, Whitfield, Parramatta Park and Westcourt (2013)
  • Babinda and Machans Beach (2013)
  • Stratford and a small area of Freshwater (2014)
  • Areas of Bungalow and Cairns North (2014)

Our focus over the coming months is to continue to monitor the Wolbachia in the mosquito population of all our release sites and to keep informing communities of the results. However, as dengue transmission is currently occurring in other areas in Cairns, we still urge all residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to immediately see a GP if they have dengue symptoms

Queensland Health will continue undertaking normal dengue control in areas where cases are reported, including setting traps and applying insecticide to control mosquitoes.

For more details about our field trials: www.eliminatedengue.com/cairns/field-trials

For health advice and updates on local dengue cases: www.health.qld.gov.au/dengue