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Dengue outbreak

Serafina Silaitoga
Thursday, January 04, 2018

THERE is an outbreak of dengue fever in the Labasa Town area.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services confirmed the outbreak of dengue which is in the Macuata subdivision, mainly localised to the Labasa Town area in the past four weeks.

In helping control the spread of dengue, the ministry has started working with stakeholders. Acting national adviser communicable diseases Dr Aalisha Sahukhan said they had started spraying mosquito breeding areas.

"The Ministry of Health and Medical Services continues to work closely with our stakeholders in the Northern Division, including municipal councils in our efforts to control the spread of dengue fever by reducing mosquito breeding in and around homes and places of work," she said.

"However, it is not possible for the ministry to conduct weekly clean-ups of every household and workplace and so we urge the general public to be vigilant in protecting yourselves and your families during this outbreak.

"Please maintain regular clean-ups of your surroundings through the weekly disposal or emptying of water carrying receptacles in and around your homes and places of work."

This week, the ministry, stated the Labasa Hospital received 39 to 78 confirmed cases of dengue every week since November 20 last year.

It said from November 20 to December 17, there had been 279 confirmed cases reported from Macuata, mostly from the Labasa Town area with a notable increase in the number of dengue fever cases.

The Roko Tui Macuata Vilai Basalusalu yesterday called on the healthy living committees of every village in Macuata to take heed of the situation.

After the high reported cases of dengue, Mr Basalusalu said a team from his office would follow up with the village committees to ensure that all mosquito breeding areas were destroyed.

"In fact, the committees know that they need to do this clean-up regularly so we will follow up again with them," he said.

"With school due to begin soon, it's very important to keep our children well and free of any sickness so they can start the new school term with other students.

"We will follow up to see that village compounds are clean and all mosquito breeding areas are destroyed."

The ministry has also stated that in early November last year, they raised public awareness as the nation entered the rainy season.

Dr Sahukhan said the awareness was to highlight the risk of an increase of dengue fever cases and urging the regular elimination of mosquito breeding sites.

"Surveys carried out in Labasa and Savusavu by the Ministry's Vector Control Unit in mid-November found high population densities of mosquitoes that can transmit dengue fever (Aedes species)," she said.

"The Labasa health office clean-up and public awareness campaign was undertaken from November 4 to 23 for four consecutive Saturdays in dengue fever risk areas, mostly in the urban and peri-urban periphery of Labasa Town."

Efforts to obtain comments from Commissioner Northern Jovesa Vocea yesterday proved futile.

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