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8 dengue deaths

Torika Tokalau And Shayal Devi
Friday, March 07, 2014

EIGHT people have died from dengue fever as of February 28.

This was confirmed by national advisor communicable disease Dr Mike Kama at a presentation at USP yesterday.

Dr Kama said as of February 28, with the period of data collection from October last year to February this year, eight people had died from the mosquito-borne illness.

He revealed a further three deaths were also being investigated.

Dr Kama said as of February 28, 9825 of suspected cases were reported nationwide.

"These are dengue cases presented to all public health facilities with clinical symptoms of the disease.

"Of those, about 3802 have been confirmed with laboratory testing that they have the disease."

Dr Kama said lab testing was only 65 per cent to 80 per cent accurate, which means there may be more cases they were missing out on.

"This data has to be taken in perspective because this is the only data from government-owned facilities. It doesn't include the private health sector and doesn't include those suspected cases of dengue that the doctors didn't really test.

"This is probably under reporting of cases, and we have projected a number probably at around 10,000 at the moment of suspected dengue cases."

Dr Kama said the Central Division was still the epicentre of the outbreak where a large cohort of vulnerable individuals were.

The division had a total of 7234 cases reported with 3063 confirmed cases.

The Western Division reported 2096 cases with 601 cases confirmed. The North reported 491 cases and 139 confirmed cases while the Eastern Division has no confirmed cases.

Health Minister Dr Neil Sharma said the fight against dengue was not only the responsibility of the ministry but the general public as well.

"We have to talk to the people about cleanliness and community, family, society and government efforts plus corporate social activity that can help prevent dengue," he said.

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