Plan to block spread of harmful diseases completed in Douglas Shire

HEALTH

Mark Murray

Journalist

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As program releasing bacteria-carrying mosquitos in the Douglas Shire has been completed. IMAGE: Supplied.

THE release of bacteria- carrying mosquitos to stop the spread of harmful diseases has been completed across the Douglas Shire.

Swarms of infected mozzies carrying Wolbechia were first released in October last year throughout Port Douglas, Mossman, Mossman Gorge and Cooya Beach.

The naturally occurring bacteria can prevent the insects transmitting the potentially deadly dengue fever, Zika virus and chikungunya to humans.

The Eliminate Dengue Program (EDP) has now completed work across northern Queensland, with project manager Geoff Wilson saying the support of locals was a major contributor to the achievement. 

“The results we are seeing are extremely promising and we know that EDP’s method is self-sustaining, meaning the outcome is long-term," he said. 

The program also introduced Wolbachia into high-risk dengue areas across Cairns, Townsville, Charters Towers and the Cassowary Coast, where the bacteria is being passed from generation to generation through the mosquitoes.

The Eliminate Dengue team will now turn its attention to the Pacific region, adding to countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Colombia who are also receiving the health intervention. 

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