1854 dengue cases

FIJI recorded a total of 1854 confirmed dengue fever cases between January 1st and March 8th this year, says the Ministry of Health.

In response to queries from this newspaper on the issue, the ministry said that while 562 cases were recorded in the West, with a downward trend in cases recorded every week, the Central Division was recording a “notable upward trend” in recent weeks.

“At highest peak of this outbreak (to date), there were 93 patients per week confirmed to have dengue fever in the Western Division,” the statement said.

“This came down to 60 in the next week, and then 30 in the following week and last week the number of cases fell below the expected number for the Western Division at this time of the year.”

The statement revealed a total of 342 cases were recorded in the Central Division.

“In recent weeks there has been a notable upward trend in confirmed dengue cases in the Central Division, mainly around the Suva subdivision. The weekly case numbers have exceeded expected numbers for the Central Division at this time of the year.

“With the recent outbreak in the Western Division, it was expected that Central would also see an increase in cases, because of geographical proximity, and frequent travel by populations between the two Divisions.

“We urge Suva residents to take the example of Labasa, Ba, and Nadi, and work together to get rid of mosquito breeding places.”

The statement revealed that two cases were recorded in Levuka for the Eastern Division.

“We have continued the ‘Fight the Bite’ awareness and clean-up campaigns as well as targeted spraying of insecticide in dengue hot spot areas.

“However, spraying is not a sustainable measure as only the adult mosquitos are killed.

“Within a week or two, mosquito populations will return as the unaffected eggs and larva (baby mosquitos) mature.”

“This is why we have urged the public to get rid of all containers that hold water around their homes and places of work.”

The North recorded 948 cases in the same period with a downward trend in cases.