Woman and child test positive for Zika in Queensland
UPDATE: TWO cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus have been confirmed in Queensland, and Australian authorities are urging pregnant women to rethink travel plans to affected countries.
A child who recently returned from a family holiday in Samoa was admitted to hospital in Brisbane on Thursday before testing positive for Zika virus while a Gold Coast woman who travelled to El Salvador tested positive for the virus in January.
Authorities are continuing to monitor the situation and Queensland Health officials said the woman and child were recovering well and posed no great risk to the community.
Health experts met in Brisbane on Thursday to discuss measures, while the State Government will increase the capacity of its laboratories.
The virus is being linked to thousands of suspected cases of birth defects in Brazil.
EARLIER: A CHILD who first presented at hospital on Thursday night has been confirmed as the second case of the Zika virus in Queensland this year.
The child recently returned to Australia from Samoa and is currently recovering at home.
The confirmation of the second case follows the case of a Queensland woman who returned to Australia from El Salvador.
The woman is recovering well on the Gold Coast. She has been discharged from hospital and there is no risk to her, her family or the general public from the virus.
In Queensland, seven cases of the disease were confirmed in 2014 and three cases in 2015.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick, who during the week convened the Zika Preparedness Roundtable, said that he had asked Queensland Health to speed up an initial public health campaign on social media and in newspapers.
"This will be aimed at people who have recently returned from overseas and may be feeling unwell," he said.
"We're going to be asking them to see their doctor or GP so they can be checked out."
Mr Dick also said that Zika testing would be available in Townsville from March 1.
Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young said that the two cases posed no threat to community health, as the virus is largely transmitted by a mosquito which is not present in south east Queensland.
"It is the same mosquito that carried dengue fever, and these mosquitoes are not present in south-east Queensland, which is where both of these cases have been found," she said.