Dengue fever cases still an issue, Health warns

By Ioana Tupa'i ,

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Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, Director General of Ministry of Health.

Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, Director General of Ministry of Health. (Photo: File)

Dengue fever continues to be a problem in Samoa.

In fact, the Director of the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, said they have recorded a steady increase in the number of dengue fever cases in the past months, since the the first case was identified on 27 October 2017.

“Of all cases diagnosed and reported (clinical and confirmed), males comprised 51 percent (920) of the total compared to 49 percent (868) of females.

“The age group affected is between 1-19 years of age with a national attack rate of 9.3 percent per 1,000 people.” 

Leausa adds the second report of dengue outbreak issued on December 18, last year notes that the majority of the 1,788 cases reported to date are from Faleata, Vaimauga, Gagaemauga (Leauva’a) and the Sagaga Districts.

He says the Ministry hasn’t recorded any dengue related deaths since December 10, 2017.  

Asked to confirm the death of a five-year-old during New Year’s at the Tupua Tamasese Hospital, he said he couldn’t confirm at the moment whether it was dengue related.

In the meantime, Leausa is urging the public to keep their surroundings clean and to clear out all mosquito breeding grounds.  

“We really need to take it seriously. We must keep widely visited areas such as villages and towns clean too so that we can stop the outbreak of dengue.”

Leausa is urging the community to wear protective clothes to cover their arms and legs when they leave the house. 

If this is uncomfortable, he is suggesting mosquito repellents to ease any risks of contracting dengue. 

The new report on dengue is expected to be released soon because the ministry is still monitoring the situation.

Commonly known symptoms include fever, joint and muscle pains, severe headaches, vomiting, pains behind the eyes and bleeding.

Leausa advises the public to visit their nearest health facilities should they experience these symptoms. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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