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Fiji fights to contain dengue fever outbreak

Updated: 2014-01-07 14:00
( Xinhua)

SUVA - Fiji's Ministry of Health announced Tuesday that the country has recorded 133 dengue fever cases in the first three days this year, urging the public to assist in the fight to reduce the impact and spread of the dengue virus.

From January 1 to January 3, the country's Central Division, where the capital of Suva is located, recorded 109 confirmed cases for dengue while the Western Division, where the resort town of Nadi is located, recorded 24 cases, health ministry statistics showed.

Environmental teams from the ministry have been activated to ensure an increase in surveillance while executing house to house calls to assist the public in reducing the number of dengue cases.

Meanwhile, the ministry urged municipalities around the country to assist in cleaning up areas such as blocked drains, rubbish heaps and other possible mosquito breeding grounds.

Minister for Health Neil Sharma said "everyone now has the responsibility to clean up their community and not just limit the clean-up to their compounds," urging communities to formulate clean-up campaigns, according to the Ministry of Information.

Aside from the latest 133 cases, the South Pacific island country recorded 330 dengue fever cases from November 1 to December 30 last year.

The Ministry of Health has declared a dengue outbreak in the country's Central Division, particularly in Suva, citing "an unusual increase" in dengue cases.

Dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus and the virus is spread from dengue infected individuals to dengue-free persons 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. To address this, those infected should visit the nearest health facilities.

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