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9/4/2008

Dengue fever outbreak in Fiji

Filed under: disease/health,fiji,global islands — admin @ 4:17 am

The medical authorities in Fiji confirmed a national dengue fever outbreak, the Fiji Times reported on Wednesday.

Sources close to the Health Ministry said divisional teams had been activated after a marked increase in cases reported at hospitals and health centers throughout the country.

It is understood that more than four cases of dengue per day have been reported at public and private health facilities over the past few weeks.

Interim Health Minister Jiko Luveni said as of Friday, 53 suspected cases of dengue had been reported throughout Fiji.

Luveni advised the general public to destroy all mosquito breeding places.

She said those who are suspected to be suffering from the disease should drink plenty of fluids.

But the Health Ministry has not made a public statement on the disease despite a meeting of senior doctors in the Western Division

Medical teams could soon begin massive spraying campaigns in an effort to kill the aedes aegyptii mosquito which carries the dengue virus.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease and has the potential to kill if patients are severely dehydrated or begin to lose blood.

Dengue fever symptoms include headaches, joint pains and bleeding from the mouth. The origins of the word dengue are not clear, but one theory is that it is derived from the Swahili phrase “Ka-dinga pepo”, which describes the disease as being caused by an evil spirit. The Swahili word “dinga” may possibly have its origin in the Spanish word “dengue” (fastidious or careful), describing the gait of a person suffering dengue fever or, alternatively, the Spanish word may derive from the Swahili. It may also be attributed to the phrase meaning “Break bone fever”, referencing the fact that pain in the bones is a common symptom.

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