THE first imported case of Zika virus in Cairns has been confirmed.
Health authorities confirmed the case of the feared mosquito-borne virus this morning which has been carried in from a woman who recently travelled to the Caribbean.
The news comes the same day as the city’s first confirmed locally-acquired dengue fever case – which is separate to the person infected with Zika.
Director of Tropical Public Health Service Dr Richard Gair said teams were spraying within a 200m radius of the cases, which were both found in Parramatta Park.
“The mosquito which spreads Zika can also spread dengue,” Dr Gair said.
“North Queensland is susceptible to the transmission of Zika.
“We have measures which we can take to respond to cases of Zika and we advise people on reducing breeding sites for the mosquitoes but it may not be possible to prevent transmission of Zika in the future in North Queensland.”
Zika has been linked to birth defects and pregnant women are being urged to use mosquito repellent to avoid mosquito bites.
“To date we haven’t seen any local transmission of Zika in Australia but what we have seen overseas suggests that we could get local transmission of Zika in the future and people need to be aware of that and take precautions as they can,” Dr Gair said.
“The advice for pregnant women is avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.”
Read the Weekend Post on Saturday for the full story…