Zika virus fears in Townsville suburb


Houses in a Townsville suburb are being sprayed to kill any mosquitoes potentially carrying Zika amid fears a resident has the virus.

Health authorities say initial tests suggest the Oonoonba local, who recently returned from overseas, has either Zika or dengue.

Townsville Public Health Unit director Dr Steven Donohue said vector-control teams were deployed to the suburb on Friday afternoon.

Dr Donohue said the risk of transmission was low as the resident was only home for a couple of days while unwell.

But he said it was imperative those in the area co-operated with authorities and removed potential mosquito breeding sites from their homes.

"I urge residents to co-operate with the usual control activities including spraying inside and around their homes," he said.

"This response will continue over the weekend."

The symptoms of Zika are milder than dengue but the virus has been linked to microcephaly, a condition that causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads.

If the resident is confirmed as having Zika it would be the second case in north Queensland where the mosquito capable of carrying the virus, Aedes aegypti, is found.

A FIFO mine worker in Rockhampton was confirmed as having Zika on Wednesday following a trip to South America.

Authorities have been spraying for potentially infected mosquitoes within a 200m radius of the Globe Hotel in Depot Hill, which the man part owns.

A heavily pregnant woman who lives next door feared for the worst after being bitten by a mosquito and becoming unwell.

Jess Edwards is due to give birth in a week but said she had been assured by health authorities that women in the later stages in their pregnancy didn't have much to worry about.

"I'm relieved, knowing the baby is going to be fine," she told the Rockhampton Bulletin.

"I was pretty emotional when we first found out."