Dengue cases rise to 10

Saturday March 09, 2019 Written by Published in Health

Ten dengue cases have been confirmed by the Ministry of Health and there are another five probable cases are yet to be diagnosed.

 

Secretary for Health Dr Josephine Herman said for the five probable cases, the blood specimens have been sent to New Zealand for confirmatory tests.

The ministry only confirms cases on the basis that a positive result comes from New Zealand lab partners.

It is understood that in the past there have been a few probable cases that have had negative results.

Dr Herman said the high risk area at the moment is Aroa in Rarotonga with five confirmed dengue cases, two in KiiKii, and one in Arai Te Tonga. 

With the country being on high alert for the dengue virus, Dr Herman said the ministry met with parliament members yesterday to discuss measures to address environmental concerns with overgrown vacant land and stagnant or blocked streams and ponds.

“This follows the successful one-day Operation Namu19 clean up on February 22 in Rarotonga and the Pa Enua.

“Corrective Services is assisting the Ministry of Health by undertaking weekly clean-up of the Rarotonga Hospital grounds and surrounding areas, so that we protect our vulnerable – those who seek outpatients care or who are hospitalised,” she said.

She said a meeting of some Heads of Ministries to discuss a medium to longer-term strategy to sustain the environmental initiatives they have undertaken was also held yesterday.

Dr Herman further stated that the Ministry of Health is also progressing discussions with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Pacific Community (SPC) and French Polynesia to secure a wolbachia-infected mosquito programme this year.

“This will help reduce the ability of the aedes mosquito to transmit the dengue, zika, chikungunya (and yellow fever) viruses to people, and therefore reduce the risk of dengue, zika, and chikungunya outbreaks.

“French Polynesia has had success with this programme in Tetiaroa. The Cook Islands is not part of the World Mosquito Programme which is currently being implemented in Fiji, Kiribati and Vanuatu.”

She added: “The Ministry of Health appreciates the government’s support, as well as Ui Ariki/Aronga mana, Religious Advisory Council, private sector and community.”

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