SUVA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Fiji has launched a nationwide campaign against the current dengue outbreak, Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar said Wednesday.
In partnership with government ministries and municipal councils, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services has organized clean-up campaigns in the Pacific island country's western, eastern, northern and central divisions, Akbar told the parliament.
"Health teams will continue to monitor affected areas and provide advice and interventions to affected communities as needed. The public is advised to ensure mosquito breeding sites are destroyed to combat the current dengue outbreak," Akbar said, urging people with symptoms to visit their nearest health center at the earliest possible opportunity.
In a typical year, Fiji identifies around 400 confirmed dengue cases, and over the last 40 years, the country has recorded dengue fever outbreaks on a 10 yearly cycle, according to Akbar.
However, she said, in the last 15 years, this has reduced to a five yearly cycle.
"Given the current weather conditions, the ministry has noticed a surge in dengue-like and influenza-like illnesses. The health ministry is also urging the general public to take heed of the preventative measures advised and actively support the vigorous clean-up campaigns conducted around the country," Akbar said, adding that the clean-up campaign will progress for the next four weeks around the country.
Fiji recorded over 150 confirmed dengue cases in the first two months of 2017.
Degue, or dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus and the virus is spread from dengue infected individuals to well dengue-free persons by the black-and-white striped female Aedes aegypti mosquito when it takes a blood meal.
Once an individual contracts dengue, the person manifests symptoms of the disease four to 10 days later. The typical symptoms of dengue fever include fever (sudden onset), intense headache (especially behind the eyes), muscle and joint pains, flushed skin or rashes on the arms and legs, and perhaps minor bleeding of the gums and/or nose. The warning signs of severe dengue are: restlessness, fast breathing, persistent vomiting, and unexplained bleeding from the gums.
Although there is no cure for dengue fever, its impacts on individuals can be managed with appropriate medical treatment. \