Dengue fever outbreak in Samoa

​More than a hundred clinically diagnosed cases of dengue fever have been recorded in Samoa in just over a month.

Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, the Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, said the fact that 121 cases of dengue have been found is a warning.

He declared that there is an outbreak of dengue fever and cautioned members of the public. “Five of eight blood samples tested confirmed DENV serotype 3,” he explained.

“Since mid June, there has been a cumulative total of 121 dengue like illness (DLI) cases recorded.

“So far there are no reported deaths there but there are complicated cases.”

According to the MOH Situation Report 2, obtained by the Sunday Samoan, the DLI definition is an acute fever with any two of other symptoms such as joint and muscle pains, macula pappular rash, severe headaches, nausea and vomiting, pains behind the eyes, bleeding and leucopenia.

“To date, there have been nine hospital admissions with at least two Dengue Hemorrhagic cases. No deaths have been reported,” stated the report.

“Over 333 DenV tests requested since June, of these, 55 tested positive NS1.”

Leausa explained that so far, most cases are from the Apia urban area with the age group most affected are those under 25 years old.

Male have the highest rate of those being clinically diagnosed of 55% and 45% for female.

What happens to the 121 cases?

According to Leausa, the hospital staff are monitoring them.

“There is no antivirus for dengue,” he said. “We are supporting them if they are dehydrated we give them fluids and plasma is given when required.” The Director General urged the public to work together in source reduction. “The public should take care not to panic,” he said.

“Take note that dengue is here and it can kill. Source reduction is the solution…there are no deaths but we might be just starting.”

Leausa added that the surveillance for border control has been increased and schools, hospitals and other vulnerable areas are being sprayed.

American Samoa has already reported four deaths from dengue with more than a hundred other suspected cases. The public are being asked to wear mosquito repellant, use mosquito nets and long sleeves for prevention.

Dengue fever facts Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes.