Contrary to denials from senior public health officials, dengue fever has already claimed four lives.
This was confirmed in a media release isssued by the government’s Press and Communications division yesterday on behalf of the Ministry of Health.
According to the statement, as of 3 December 2017, the Ministry had recorded 1,522 clinical and confirmed cases with 339 hospital admissions.
The statement confirmed that four deaths are related to dengue.
“The Ministry of Health has confirmed a Dengue fever serotype2 outbreak for Samoa. This was detected in October when blood samples were confirmed at the E.S.R. Lab in New Zealand,” the statement reads.
“As of December 3, the Ministry has recorded 1,522 clinical and confirmed cases with 339 hospital admissions and 4 deaths related to dengue.
“From these numbers 51 percent are male with the remaining percentage female. There have been cases throughout all age groups from 1 year old to 65 and over, however, the most affected age groups have been identified to be from 19 and below with the highest number of cases in children between 5 – 9 years old.
“Over 2,196 tests have been requested throughout August to early December. To date there are 1,052 lab confirmed positive cases.
“Dengue Fever Attack Rates have also been identified by districts with the Ministry naming the most affected areas to be Apia Urban Area, Vaimauga District and Faleata District.
“The Ministry of Health confirms ongoing surveillance on monitoring the situation and is continuing to advocate and implement control measures for mosquito-borne diseases.
“The Ministry continues to encourage the public to reduce or remove all mosquito breeding sites during this rainy season.
“Other usual preventative methods to avoid illness are also advised by the Ministry as well as urging the communities and organizations to continue to work with the Ministry of Health in combatting Dengue Fever.”