The Ministry of Health has issued an alert about an outbreak of dengue fever in the country.
It follows 25 positive cases, with two of them suspected to have led to deaths. These cases are being investigated.
But alarm bells have been raised in an public notice issued during the weekend and obtained by the Samoa Observer.
The notice dates 12 August 2017. It says that the National Disease Surveillance and International Health Regulations Division has been notified of severely ill cases from Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital.
“The Current Surveillance Information indicates that between 7th – 11th August, Surveillance has been informed by doctors at Intensive Care Unit, Acute 8 at the T.T.M.H. and P.H.C. at Leulumoega Hospital of what appears to be an outbreak of dengue like illness (D.L.I.).
“There is still unclear consensus of what we may be seeing, as investigations continue.
“I.C.U. & A.C.8. reported sudden increased cases with following common signs and symptoms: prolonged illness over several days with severe headaches; nausea and vomiting; abdominal pains; fevers of over three days duration; generalized body weakness; at least one case reported joint and muscle pains; and a finding of low platelet count.”
“Recent lab requests for August alone reported 54 requests, with 25 positive dengue cases.
“We are continuing to investigate and monitor other information as they become available.
“We also continue to collaborate with World Health Organization for further assistance,” reads the M.O.H. notice.
They also issued preventions to protect the public from this outbreak.
“The Ministry of Health continues to advocate for general hygiene in the home and source reduction of mosquito breeding sites; drain long standing water; clean-up rubbish around living areas; avoid mosquito bites by the use of adequate clothing for protection; use of mosquito repellents and use mosquito nets and plant insect repellent plants around the house, for added prevention.
“We continue to work with clinicians in notifying cases to M.O.H. Surveillance through early warning by phone/email and filling out the Syndromic Surveillance Forms in the G.O.P.D., E.D., Wards and Surveillance sites.
“At times of an outbreak, clinicians are asked to fill out a daily line list of cases. Officers will collect them for verification and follow-up response. Contact numbers are important for follow-up."
The public are advised to see a doctor, as soon as possible, when symptoms arise.