Dengue fever and leptospirosis outbreak declared in the West
Dengue outbreak in Ovalau and leptospirosis outbreak in Kadavu

Dengue fever and leptospirosis outbreak declared in the West

Dengue outbreak in Ovalau and leptospirosis outbreak in Kadavu

By Rashika Kumar
Monday 29/04/2024

A Dengue fever and leptospirosis outbreak has been declared in the Western Division while a dengue outbreak in Ovalau and a leptospirosis outbreak has been declared for Kadavu.

370 cases of dengue fever and 212 cases of leptospirosis have been reported from the Western Division since the beginning of this year.

There have been 72 cases of dengue fever in Ovalau since January while the Kadavu medical subdivision has reported 31 laboratory-confirmed leptospirosis cases since the beginning of this year, with a surge in cases observed in recent weeks.

There have been no deaths to date.

The Health Ministry says a surge in dengue cases has been observed particularly in Nadi, Ba, Tavua and Ovalau in the past 2-3 weeks.

They say the majority of the dengue 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.

The Ministry also says that most of the leptospirosis cases from the Western Division are within the 10-29 age range, with 75 percent of cases being of i-Taukei ethnicity.

The Kadavu Medical Subdivision has reported a total of 31 laboratory-confirmed leptospirosis cases since the beginning of this year, with a surge in cases observed in recent weeks.

The majority of the leptospirosis cases in Kadavu are in 10-19 age group, with all cases of i-Taukei ethnicity.

They further says a surge support team was mobilised to assist the Kadavu Subdivisional Outbreak Response Team in implementing their prevention and control activities in response towards leptospirosis outbreak, that includes raising awareness on leptospirosis and information on health and other communicable diseases, conducting environmental risk assessments including assessment of animals, water sources and sanitation facilitates in the affected communities, including issuance of nuisance abatement notices, upscaling and continuous surveillance in hot-spot and at-risk communities – including vector surveillance and distribution of rat baits to households.

The Ministry further says the majority of dengue cases are in the 10-19 age group, and from several communities and villages in Ovalau.

They say divisional health teams have been alerted to the increasing number of dengue fever and leptospirosis cases above expected levels, in order to encourage early recognition, treatment, and referral of cases as required.

Divisional and Subdivisional health teams have also been trained to investigate cases and implement necessary public health prevention and control measures, including the collaboration with relevant animal health authorities for targeted vector surveillance and control.

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

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals that spreads through the urine of infected animals, which can contaminate water or moist soil for weeks to months.

Dangerous signs for severe leptospirosis include shortness of breath, coughing blood, chest pain, yellow eyes, signs of bleeding including unexplained bruising, decreased or increased urination, difficulty staying awake.

Some of the main symptoms of dengue include severe headache, severe joint pain and muscle pain, especially in the lower back, high fever, nausea and vomiting, change in taste, weakness and loss of appetite.

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