dengue fever

Samoa health expert urges caution after disease reappears

Acting Director General Tagaloa Robert Thomsen said while there is a presence of dengue fever, the evidence does not suggest Samoa will experience an outbreak.

Dr Thomsen said the hospital's surveillance team is on the look out for any new cases after six cases of dengue fever were confirmed for June, and the team has seen cases of the symptoms including diarrhoea, acute fever and rash.

Dr Thomsen said dengue fever usually occurs after rain and flooding and people need to watch out for mosquito breeding places.

Fiji reels from dengue as it recovers from Covid-19 and cyclone

The country was still reeling from the devastation caused by Cyclone Harold last month and heavy rains last week.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said dengue was spread by mosquitoes which thrived in pools of still water that gathered after a storm.

He urged the public to work with health officials who were conducting a door-to-door LTDD campaign to tackle leptospirosis, typhoid, dengue and diarrhoea.

"LTDD and Covid-19 share the same symptoms and the same precautions can be taken to combat them."

Dengue claims two lives in Tuvalu

The WHO Pacific reports that there have been 476 dengue like-illness cases; of which 211 were laboratory confirmed.

The majority of the cases (45%) are in children.

In March, Tuvalu's Ministry of Health reported a surge in cases of dengue-like illness.

Tuvalu is to host the Pacific Islands Forum in August.


Six people isolated as Palau fights to beat dengue

Health minister Imaes Roberts said those in hospital are not in a critical condition and there have been no deaths related to the latest dengue type 3 outbreak which was detected last month.

Mr Roberts said five people died from the mosquito borne disease in 2016 but he said he's confident the latest outbreak will be contained.

He said the public has taken preventative measures against mosquitoes but says recent rain has not helped.

He praised the public's response to clean-up and awareness campaigns regarding preventative measures against mosquitoes.

Samoa PM says public haven't listened to dengue warnings

The outbreak has claimed five lives since October.

On Thursday, Tuilaepa told Radio 2AP that there had been a strong educational campaign by the ministry on prevention but people did not seem to be listening.

"They don't listen and take action on these prevention issues but when they get sick they start complaining, but the Ministry is doing its job," he said.

The prime minster called on village based women's health committees to work more diligently in ridding the country of dengue through clean up campaigns.

Warning issued over dengue fever spike

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service says 70 per cent of dengue fever cases in the last two months have been from Samoa. 

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Denise Barnfather says there's no vaccine in the Pacific for dengue fever, and the only way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquitoes.

"Dengue fever can be a severe illness. Those who travel to Pacific countries frequently are at risk of repeat infections with different strains of the dengue virus. This can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal."

Samoa authorities reject call for schools to close over dengue

On Wednesday opposition MP Olo Fiti Va'ai made the call after visiting a hospital he said was crowded with children infected with the disease.

The Ministry of Health's chief executive, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, said parents have been advised to keep their children at home if they show symptoms, saying Olo's call was pointless.

"I don't think closing schools is appropriate for a mosquito-borne disease. This is not contagious in the sense that it spreads from person to person by contact," he said.

Call for Samoa's schools to close during dengue outbreak

Last month, the Ministry of Health said the public shouldn't panic over type two dengue fever found in the country.

Olo told the Samoa Observer after visiting Moto'otua hospital he was alarmed at high numbers of school children who have contracted the virus from other students.

He said the hospital was overcrowded and the government needed to step in and close schools before the situation escalated.

In August the Ministry of Health issued an alert over another dengue fever outbreak involving two suspected deaths.



Photo: 123RF

Bacteria could be key to freeing South Pacific of mosquitoes

A biomedical lab in Tahiti has succeeded in nearly eradicating mosquitoes from a tiny nearby island, and researchers are gearing up to eliminate the pests from a larger island that is permanently inhabited by people. 

The eventual goal is to cut off transmission routes for mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika, which plague the Pacific. Researchers also hope that reducing the mosquito burden will help populations of local birds. On other islands, such as Hawaii, avian malaria spread by mosquitoes can devastate bird populations. 

Climate change implicated in dengue fever outbreaks in Pacific islands

New Zealand travellers are being warned to take precautions when going to affected areas amid a surge of dengue fever in the Pacific this year, and a “type 2” strain that hasn't been seen in 20 years.

The symptoms of aching joints, headaches and fever are the same, but the absence of the strain until recently means many people haven't developed immunity to it.