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Fiji Time: 2:26 AM on Thursday 24 April

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Dengue suspect cases

Luke Rawalai
Saturday, February 22, 2014

WHILE 4600 dengue fever cases have been reported so far, the Ministry of Health believes another 3000 to 4000 suspected cases are not reported.

Health Ministry permanent secretary Doctor Eloni Tora also clarified that two deaths had occurred as a result of the recent dengue attack and not three as earlier reported.

He said one suspected case was yet to be confirmed.

And he has urged the community to work with the ministry to help control the spread of dengue.

"The ministry cannot control this disease alone and we need the public to play their role in ensuring that we control the disease," Dr Tora said.

"The spread of dengue can only be stopped if the breeding places of these mosquitoes are destroyed."

Dr Tora added that since the disease spread in December last year, the number of suspected dengue cases had also increased.

"We received two dengue cases in November last year before the number of cases peaked in December.

"Globally, the cases of dengue fever have been increasing every year and it is now even found in places where we never suspected the disease to thrive in.

"Dengue is a tropical and sub-tropical disease that has been increasing in countries with these climates because of rain."

Dr Tora said in the Pacific region, some countries suffered from outbreaks of dengue in the past two years.

"The Solomon Islands were one of these countries that had a massive outbreak last year.

"We are fortunate that in Fiji, we had the outbreak last year and it has not gone out of control yet.

"Globally, 2.5 per cent of those infected with the disease die."

Dr Tora said Fiji had a low dengue mortality rate since it only recorded two confirmed deaths so far.

"We were able to control the disease in Fiji after the ministry had activated their taskforce and awareness campaigns earlier in November last year."

Dr Tora has called on people to ensure their surroundings are clean and free of water-holding objects where mosquitoes breed.