Fiji records 9,825 dengue cases, launches national campaign to contain outbreak
SUVA, March 7 (Xinhua) — Fiji has recorded 9,825 confirmed dengue cases including eight death cases since October last year and the government announced Friday the launch of a national campaign to contain the outbreak.
According to the Ministry of Health, of the confirmed cases, the highest numbers are presented in the country’s central division, where the capital of Suva is located.
The national anti-dengue campaign is spearheaded by the Ministry of Health and has so far seen commitment by various organizations within the private sector, said the Ministry of Information, adding that the general public is encouraged to support the efforts of the government in the nationwide cleanup campaign, which will continue for the next four consecutive weeks.
Dr Mike Kama, national adviser for communicable diseases of the Ministry of Health, highlighted the importance of clean surroundings to avoid dengue fever at a press conference Friday.
“Each individual or household needs to take this initiative in cleaning up their own backyards and to dispose any materials that may attract mosquitoes to breed,” Kama said, pointing out that those with symptoms of dengue fever need to present themselves to the nearest medical facility.
Kama said the outbreak is caused by dengue type three that has not been seen in Fiji for many years.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has recalled all doctors and nurses currently on leave as it works towards containing the dengue outbreak, the government-owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) reported.
China has donated 50,000 U.S. dollars to Fiji to assist its efforts in combating the outbreak.
Dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus and the virus is spread from dengue infected individuals to well dengue-free people by the black-and-white striped female Aedes aegypti mosquito when it takes a blood meal.
Once an individual contracts dengue, the person manifests symptoms of the disease four to 10 days later. The typical symptoms of dengue fever include fever (sudden onset), intense headache (especially behind the eyes), muscle and joint pains, flushed skin or rashes on the arms and legs and perhaps minor bleeding of the gums and/or nose.