The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is concerned with an increase in the number of diarrhoea cases reported from Balevuto, Nukuloa, Nacaci and Toge.
In a statement, the Ministry says they are also aware of allegations that relate to the Water Authority of Fiji water source.
They say a team from the Ministry has been working with WAF in carrying out investigations which include water sources and surrounding inspections and collecting water samples which have been sent to the Fiji CDC lab in Suva.
They further say current findings indicate that the WAF water supply is not the cause of the increase in diarrhoea cases and they are running more investigations to ascertain the cause of the reported diarrhoea cases.
The Ministry says they have also investigated deaths occurring within the same period and so far, their investigations indicate that the deaths are not related to the current outbreak and are due to underlying medical issues.
The Ministry is advising members of the public in Balevuto and nearby areas to boil all drinking water and adhere to best hygiene practices which include proper hand washing with soap and water before and after meals and after visiting the toilet.
They are also urging members of the public to report early to their nearest health facility if they are experiencing loose and watery stools and other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fever, headache, bloating and flatulence, abdominal cramps with a colicky pattern, stomach pains and loss of appetite.
The Ministry says they also have medical teams conducting field visits working from Balevuto Health Centre to do health awareness programs and facilitate the community distribution of Oral Rehydration Salts and water purification tablets.
They say a key focus of the Ministry’s outreach is also to deal with the high levels of misinformation currently circulating and are urging the public to adhere to the public health advice on water and hand sanitation mentioned above.
They add that there are ongoing investigations to identify more clearly the cause and underlying issues that have led to this outbreak and updates will be provided once all information is adequately verified.
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