9 die from dengue fever in Fiji this year

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Nine people, all aged over 55 years, have died from dengue fever in Fiji this year.

According to statistics released by Fiji’s Ministry of Health on Monday, a total of 2,699 dengue fever cases have been recorded so far this year as compared to 889 for the same period of last year.

Eric Rafai, deputy secretary for public health at the ministry of health, said that with the beginning of the rainy season, there was a risk of an increase in the number of dengue cases and other mosquito-born diseases.

He added that a clean up campaign to destroy mosquito breeding places would be launched in the country’s central division on Saturday.

Peak period of the outbreak spread by mosquitoes was in May that recorded 200 cases a week and this had decreased to six cases a week with most of the confirmed cases from the Western and Central Divisions of Fiji, said Aalisha Sahu-Khan, acting national advisor for Fiji’s Communicable Diseases.

Climate change had a great impact on the dengue outbreak, and Fijians needed to take a proactive approach to take care of the environment, she added.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-born tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms typically begin three to 14 days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.

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