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Dengue still on the up

Torika Tokalau
Thursday, March 20, 2014

THERE is yet no end in sight to the dengue fever outbreak afflicting the country with the Health Ministry saying it cannot project an end until there is a steady decrease of cases every week.

The Health Ministry's Dr Mike Kama told Radio New Zealand about 24,000 people in Fiji would experience dengue fever during the current outbreak, the worst recorded since 1975.

Dr Kama, the national adviser communicable disease, said the ministry and other stakeholders were doing a lot to stop the outbreak.

"Its been on the rise, it has just come down over the last week or so," he said.

"Numbers every week tend to fluctuate, 1000 every week but it fluctuates in and out, it's not a constant number."

He said once they collate the recent data collection activity from various centres, they can determine what more needs to be done.

"Maybe this week the cases will go down even further, which will be a good sign and reflect our intervention across the nation, maybe they won't.

"That really depends on many factors.

"That is the scenario we have. Once we have a steady decrease then we can project that the outbreak is over but at the moment we can't."

Dr Kama said areas like Valelevu, Makoi, Samabula, Tamavua, Nausori, Sigatoka, Nadi, Ba, Lautoka, Labasa, Cakaudrove and Savusavu were still risk areas.

"From October up until last week, the data we used was laboratory data — data we collate from health facilities not from residential localities of people.

"So, the new testing method now is more specific.

"We can get data from specific residences that are affected — what we hope to provide from next week — on specific localities."


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