ABC News 10 February 2016
A pregnant Queensland woman has tested positive to Zika virus after recently returning from overseas, Queensland Health has confirmed.
The woman was diagnosed in south-east Queensland yesterday and authorities said the illness was not acquired locally.
It is the third case of Zika virus to be identified in Queensland this year.
No further information will be released on the pregnant woman.
However, Queensland Health said it was a separate case from that of a woman who returned to the Gold Coast from El Salvador in December, who had also tested positive to Zika last week.
Sydney Morning Herald 8 February 2016
CSIRO head Larry Marshall has sought to defend deep cuts to climate science programs after days of sustained criticism, saying global warming research was “one piece of a much larger puzzle” in solving Australia’s biggest challenges.
His defence came as dozens of scientists, including some whose jobs are under threat at CSIRO, rallied in Melbourne, warning the cuts would hurt Australia’s ability to address the climate change threat.
ABC News Harriet Tatham 8 February 2016
A central Queensland maternity unit will undergo an independent review after the death of a baby and the injury of three others last year.
The Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service said potential safety issues were identified after the incidents and the review of the Rockhampton Base Hospital maternity ward would aim to reduce further patient harm.
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-08/rockhampton-hospital-maternity-ward-faces-independent-review/7148026
The Courier Mail
Queensland patients would be confined to home if they were found to have Zika virus
QUEENSLANDERS infected with Zika virus would be confined to their home and health authorities would track mosquitoes that may have bitten them in an effort to stop an outbreak of the virus.
The virus sweeping the world will be treated in the same way as dengue fever in Queensland if a case was detected here.
“What’s good for dengue is good for Zika,” Health Minister Cameron Dick declared yesterday, following a meeting of national experts in Brisbane who strategised the state’s response to the outbreaks overseas.
Read more: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-patients-would-be-confined-to-home-if-they-were-found-to-have-zika-virus/news-story/23c4b2e3baaf769036122cc3336d15b6
February 5, 2016
Human testing for Zika to begin in Townsville for first time
TESTING for Zika in humans will begin in Townsville for the first time to help combat the threat the mosquito-borne virus poses to Queensland.
The State Government will spend $400,000 to increase the capacity of its laboratories – including one in Townsville – to rapidly test for the Zika virus.
Health authorities believe it is important enhanced testing be made available where the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the virus, is found.
Queensland Health will also spend $1 million to develop a campaign to educate people on the role they can play in reducing the spread of mosquitoes.
The campaign would target both the dengue and Zika virus.
Read more: http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/human-testing-for-zika-to-begin-in-townsville-for-first-time/news-story/067ed53af372c924aa81b7db00ce10f2
February 4, 2016
ABC News Nick Wiggins 4 Feb 2016
Zika virus: Rapid-testing centre to be set up in Queensland
A special pathology centre will be set up in Townsville to rapidly test for Zika virus in humans, but authorities say there is still a minimal risk in Queensland.
Ten people have returned to Queensland from overseas with the virus since 2014, but it has not made its way to the state’s mosquito population.
A range of frontline measures were discussed at a meeting of health experts in Brisbane on Thursday.
The State Government will spend $400,000 to increase the capacity of its laboratories, including the new testing centre in Townsville.
A $1 million awareness campaign will also be launched, targeting far north Queensland where the type of mosquito that can spread the virus is found.
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/rapid-testing-for-zika-virus-townsville-awareness-campaign/7141572
ABC The Drum Broadcast 4 Feb 2016
A radical new proposal to prevent future Zika virus outbreaks
Australian researchers are proposing the use of genetic technologies to eliminate several species of mosquitoes. They say it could prevent future outbreaks of deadly viruses like Zika.
to watch program: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/a-radical-new-proposal-to-prevent-future-zika/7141890
ABC News 4 Feb 2016
Tonga declares Zika epidemic after five cases confirmed, nearly 260 tested for virus
Tonga has declared a Zika epidemic after confirming five cases from testing nearly 260 people for the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to birth defects.
Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-04/tonga-declares-zika-epidemic/7141260
Posted in Clinical pathology, Leadership / Management, Travel medicine, Vector borne diseases
Tagged Dengue fever, Genetic engineering, Laboratory tests, Mosquito control, Pacific Islands, Pathology services, Public Health, Queensland Health Minister, Tonga, Townsville Qld, Zika virus
Brisbane Times Jorge Branco February 4, 2016
Testing for Zika virus will begin in Queensland’s vulnerable far north amid moves to prevent an outbreak of the disease.
Health Minister Cameron Dick again stressed the risk of an outbreak was low, following a roundtable meeting on Thursday with experts from around the country.
He and Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said the state was well prepared to defend against the global health emergency because of years of controlling the spread of dengue virus, another mosquito-borne disease.
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/zika-virus-testing-to-begin-in-townsville-20160204-gmlmva.html
Brisbane Times Amy Remeikis 1 February 2016
Queensland’s health authorities are undertaking research to determine if any other species of mosquito can spread the devastating Zika virus, as the state prepares for its potential spread onto its tropical shores.
A communique has been provided to GPs, emergency departments, public and private health units as well as laboratories, paediatricians and obstetricians and infectious disease physicians with information of the current situation, while Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services researches whether any other mosquito is capable of transmitting the disease.