Dengue carrying mosquitoes

Fred Wesley | Wednesday, January 3, 2018
THE revelation that the Labasa Hospital has received between 39 and 78 confirmed cases of dengue every week since November 20 last year is reason enough to be concerned.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services confirmed a continuous rise in dengue cases.

Positive cases, a statement from the ministry stated, included all age groups but mostly between the ages of 20 and 39.

There was a notable increase in the number of dengue fever cases in the Macuata subdivision, it said, mainly localised to the Labasa Town area over the past four weeks. acting national adviser communicable disease, Doctor Aalisha Sahukhan confirmed there had been no admissions for severe dengue, and no deaths during the o period from November 20 to date.

A total of 795 laboratory confirmed cases of dengue fever were recorded in the Northern Division between January 1, 2017, and December 17, 2017. That was compared with 1207 and 1134 confirmed cases in the Central and Western divisions respectively. There has been an average of 13 patients per day, Dr Sahukhan said, treated with intravenous fluids in the past week.

The weekly numbers of confirmed dengue cases had surpassed the expected numbers for this time of the year.

"With the current trend of cases seen, it is evident that Macuata, and specifically Labasa, is experiencing a surge of dengue fever," Dr Sahukhan said.

By November last year, the highest numbers were recorded in the Western and Central divisions, in comparison with figures the previous year.

The year 2014 was an example of what an outbreak of the disease can do to our nation.

As thousands of people rushed to hospitals around the country, figures continued to rise. The alarming rate at which the sick flocked to hospitals attracted attention.

It prompted the then Commissioner Western Joeli Cawaki to call a press conference in March urging the public to take the dengue threat seriously.

Dengue Fever is a vector-borne viral infection transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The World Health Organization estimates that between 50 and 100 million people are infected annually around the world.

People suffering from the infection will have a number of symptoms including high fever, severe joint pain, rashes, vomiting and mild bleeding from the mouth and nose. Symptoms last between five and seven days. While there is no vaccine for it, most people quickly recover with proper medical care.

Dengue Fever can be fatal, which is why prevention is critically important. Let's keep our compounds clean.

Empty containers of water, get rid of old tyres, drums and make sure pot-plants are not carrying stagnant water. Keep mosquito repellents handy. With that out of the way, we hope the authorities will also take action on neighbours who are not complying with the need to keep their compounds clean and get rid of mosquito breeding places. It has rained a fair bit in most parts of the country over recent weeks. We should be vigilant, and considerate. Let's fight dengue together.

Home | Top