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Fiji Time: 10:37 PM on Friday 18 April

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123 cases in 3 days

Shalveen Chand
Sunday, January 05, 2014

DENGUE fever continues to spread with 123 positive cases recorded nationwide in the first three days of this year.

According to figures provided by the Ministry of Health, the Central Division had 109 cases, the Western Division recorded 24 while the North had no cases for this period.

At the end of December last year, there were 283 cases.

Health spokeswoman Evlyn Mani said the high number of dengue cases in the Central Division, in particular for the capital, Suva, signified that the conditions for fostering rapid dengue transmission prevailed in Suva and the adjacent townships of Nausori and Navua.

"Because of the high likelihood of travel by our population from urban to rural areas during this festive period, it effectively puts the other health divisions (outside of the Central Health Division) at risk of importing dengue fever but it will depend on the density of the dengue-transmitting mosquito in those localities," she said.

"The breakdown of the dengue data in terms of gender indicates that males are slightly more affected compared to females.

"The age group predominantly affected are the 10-40 years old age category."

Reasons given by the Health Ministry for such high cases were high human population density in a defined locality, low population immunity to the circulating dengue strain and circulation of a new dengue strain or one that has not circulated in the country for a long while.

Also, fostering the effective transmission of dengue includes environmental conditions that support breeding of dengue transmitting mosquitoes and challenges in disposal of and destruction of mosquito breeding sites.

The Health Ministry urged members of the public to eliminate possible breeding grounds for dengue mosquito.