PR  14/2024

For Immediate Release

26/04/2024

Dengue Fever Outbreak in Ovalau and the Western Division

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has declared dengue fever outbreaks in Ovalau and in the Western Division where case numbers are significantly above expected levels for this time of the year.

Ovalau Dengue Outbreak

There have been 72 cases of dengue fever reported from the Levuka Hospital in Ovalau since January 1st this year, with a recent surge in cases reported in these preceding two weeks. The majority of cases are in the 10-19 age group, and from several communities and villages in Ovalau. There have been no deaths to date.

The Lomaiviti Subdivision Outbreak Response Team (SORT) have upscaled their public health response with site specific and community wide awareness and information sessions. Response activities already implemented by the Lomaiviti SORT included:

  • Information sharing in the Bose ni Tikina meetings in Ovalau, and evening awareness sessions conducted in several communities and villages.
  • An awareness session and source reduction/clean-up activities at the St John’s College in Cawaci.
  • Targeted anti-mosquito spraying in hot-spot and at-risk villages and communities.
  • Case investigations, household inspections and applicable prosecution works.
  • Surge capacity and readiness activated by the Levuka hospital facility and use of recommended dengue fever clinical management guidelines for cases.

Western Division Dengue Outbreak

A total of 370 cases of dengue fever have been reported for the Western Division since the beginning of this year. In these preceding 2-3 weeks, a surge in cases has been observed particularly in Nadi, Ba and Tavua. The majority of cases from the Western Division belong to the 10-49 age group, while it appears to be predominantly affecting the 50-59 age group in the Ba medical subdivision.

More cases of dengue fever are expected every year during the rainy season from October to April and following periods of adverse weather conditions. In anticipation of this increase in cases, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services conducted a three-month long mass media awareness campaign through TV and radio beginning in December 2023. This mass media campaign was continued following the recent adverse weather conditions in March and April, in anticipation of the increase in cases of communicable diseases, including dengue fever, and to advise the public on prevention of such diseases. Awareness continues both in mass media and on official MHMS social media pages. Community engagement by the Ministry’s Divisional and Subdivisional teams has also continued throughout the rainy season.

Divisional health teams have been alerted to the increasing number of dengue fever cases above expected levels, in order to encourage early recognition, treatment, and referral of cases as required. Divisional and subdivisional outbreak response teams have also been trained to investigate and to respond during outbreaks.

We continue to urge the public to learn about dengue fever, take precautions to prevent infection, and present early to a medical facility should you develop symptoms.

https://www.health.gov.fj/dengue-fever/

Last Updated on 2 months by Publishing Team

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