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Dengue cases drop

Repeka Nasiko & Avneel Chand
Saturday, November 18, 2017

THE weekly cases of dengue fever have declined since September, says Ministry of Health and Medical Services communicable diseases acting national adviser Dr Aaisha Khan.

Dr Khan said while the numbers had continued to decrease, the heavy rainy conditions could spark another outbreak.

"Weekly numbers of dengue since September are below outbreak levels and are at the rate expected for this time of the year," she said.

"The dengue outbreak was declared in May 2017, at that time the peak number of cases per week was approximately 200.

"Now the number of cases is around six per week which is below the outbreak level."

Dr Khan said the total number of cases was higher than last year.

"In short, the 2017 dengue fever outbreak is over.

"That being said, as we are in the rainy season, typically the high risk time period for dengue fever outbreaks."

She said the public should exercise caution and ensure mosquito breeding grounds were cleared.

"The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is urging the public to start with recommended prevention activities now.

"These activities need to become a routine for all of us, especially considering that we are even seeing outbreaks of dengue fever in our traditional dry season," said Dr Khan.

Meanwhile, the Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services, Alex O'Connor, has called on stakeholders to step up and support the Fight the Bite Clean-up Fiji campaign.

Mr O'Connor made this call at the Nausori Primary School when launching the national clean-up campaign yesterday.

"May I appeal to other stakeholders to come on board to assist the ministry since health is everybody's business," he said.

"We need to reach out and challenge ourselves to be custodians of our environment and take responsibility to keep our surroundings clean and make it more appealing to our communities and those who visit our shores.

"And as we have already entered into the cyclone season, families need to be vigilant, they need to take all the precautionary measures to prepare and most importantly with the heavy rain experiences, we need to take care of our surroundings."

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