by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
Dengue fever is spreading to many Pacific Islands and the number of confirmed cases are increasing.
With seasonal changes in weather patterns, the rain experienced in these early months of the year is said to be a contributing factor, helping to the spread of the fever.
Just two weeks ago, Vanuatu’s Tanna Island recorded 435 suspected cases, from which 115 were confirmed positive. From this total, four were hospitalised however no deaths were reported.
Followed by Vanuatu is New Caledonia. In New Caledonia, health authorities declared the epidemic after recording an increase in the number of victims who were confirmed positive.
A total of 163 cases were confirmed to be Type 1 dengue. From the total, 11 were hospitalised with two confirmed deaths.
In Fiji, the Ministry of Health recorded 143 positive cases. From the total, the Western Division was with the highest record of 88, the Northern Division with 30 and the Central/Eastern with 25. No deaths have been confirmed however, the public has been alerted on the outbreak.
In American Samoa, health authorities have recorded 13 suspected cases. Eight were confirmed positive, and were admitted at the LBJ Hospital for further treatment. Like Fiji, no deaths have been recorded as yet.
While other nations are yet to report on the fever, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji and American Samoa are few reported nations with dengue fever. The reported figures are for 2017 from the past few weeks of 2017.
For Nauru and Solomon Islands, dengue fever outbreak is experienced however, no official report have been released confirming the figures. Officials are yet to release the reports on the number of confirmed cases.
With the number increasing, respective health authorities have issued alerts and warned their general public to take precautions when travelling to and fro, avoid mosquito bites, destroy breeding hubs for mosquitoes such as drums, containers and excessive piled rubbish, and use preventive measures.
The locals have also been advised to seek medical assistance immediately if they experience headaches, fever and joint aches as these are early signs of dengue fever.
The number of confirmed cases is increasing and is said to increase in the next coming months for many of these island nations if the general pubic does not comply and follow the warnings and alerts that are given by their health authorities.
Source: Radio New Zealand