Most people know that Dengue is a mosquito-borne tropical disease that causes a fever, joint pain and rashes. But there’s much more to one of the most significant health issues in the world.
Dengue fever was introduced to Australia after colonisation, and Australians have played a massive role in identifying and describing Dengue fever.
JCU professor and resident Dengue expert John McBride knows a lot about the scientific side of Dengue, and he’s also an expert in the tropical disease’s historical side.
“It was introduced into Australia in the early colonial days. It probably didn’t exist prior to colonisation,” John says. “A lot of people would be surprised to know, for instance, that dengue caused a lot of problems in Brisbane in the early 1900s.”
Given the long history of Dengue fever, John is a relatively new expert in a long line of Australians who have helped in the fight against the disease. He says that Queensland has a long history of epidemics, but the last two decades have seen the disease’s prevalence increase.