Outbreak procedures and responsibilities
Queensland Health works with local government and other agencies to prevent and control any mosquito borne disease outbreaks that occur.
Local governments in Queensland are responsible for enforcing the Public Health Act 2005 and the Public Health Regulation 2005, which deal with public health risks from designated pests such as mosquitoes.
Because some mosquito types that transmit disease breed in domestic environments, it is an offence to have mosquitoes breeding on private property (under the Public Health Act 2005).
Part of the responsibility for controlling mosquitoes lies with the public:
- Read more about mosquito borne disease prevention tips around the home
- Read more about tips for workplaces, hotels and schools
The general public also need to protect themselves from mosquito bites:
- Read more about how to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Dengue outbreaks - state and local government responsibilities
Queensland Health is responsible for recording all dengue fever cases and works together with relevant local governments to control outbreaks of dengue fever.
The key steps undertaken by state and local governments in dengue control include:
- community awareness and engagement
- diseases surveillance and research
- mosquito control
When a locally acquired case is confirmed:
- A local media alert is issued informing people to protect themselves and their family by removing containers that dengue mosquitoes breed in from around their house and yard and using personal insect repellent (containing DEET or Picaridin).
- A public health officer will interview the person to find out where they have recently spent time to ensure the dengue virus has not spread to dengue mosquitoes in other areas.
- Public health officers and local government coordinate resources so they can inspect and treat as many properties as possible.
Dengue mosquito control
In areas with dengue mosquitoes, if someone has a suspected case of dengue fever mosquito control officers will inspect around their house and yard for dengue mosquitoes. They will also do yard inspections of homes nearby. This can include:
- treatment of containers where dengue mosquitoes can lay their eggs
- setting 'lure and kill' mosquito traps
- spraying inside homes to kill adult mosquitoes.
Mosquito control officers can apply for a permit for an Authorised Prevention and Control Program which allows authorised mosquito control officers to enter premises and treat mosquito breeding sites. This work is essential to control outbreaks.
They need the cooperation of local residents to reduce mosquito breeding sites on their properties by emptying containers that hold water. This is an important step in trying to prevent the spread of dengue fever once a case is confirmed.
Refer to the Queensland Dengue Management Plan 2010-2015 which was developed to guide and coordinate the management of dengue fever by local and state government.