Dengue bites back again in New Year

Thursday January 09, 2020 Written by Published in Health
Mosquito-borne dengue disease has now struck down at least 128 people in Rarotonga and Aitutaki, in a year-long outbreak. 17011121 Mosquito-borne dengue disease has now struck down at least 128 people in Rarotonga and Aitutaki, in a year-long outbreak. 17011121

Two probable cases of dengue were recorded in the first week of 2020, bringing the total number to 128 since the outbreak began a year ago.

And with mosquitoes on the rise following the recent rainy spell, the Health ministry is vigilant amid fear of a possible spike in the mosquito-borne illness in the country.

According to the Health ministry, 122 cases of dengue were recorded in Rarotonga from January 28 to December 29 last year.

Thirty-five of them were diagnosed with dengue type one (DENV-1) virus while two with type two (DENV-2). The remaining 85 were declared probable cases.

In Aitutaki, three cases of DENV-1 and one case of DENV-2 have been recorded so far.

In total 48 dengue victims, 44 from Rarotonga and four from Aitutaki, have been admitted and discharged. The age range of those infected were three to 79 years.

According to a Pacific Alert report, one imported case of dengue serotype unknown with travel history to Cook Islands was reported by New Zealand Institute of Environmental Science and Research Limited (ESR) over the New Year week.

However Howard Tangimetua, health ministry’s communications and public relations advisor, said they had not received any information on the above case.

“No personal details of the case was released by New Zealand ESR to Cook Islands ESR so risk assessment and peri-focal spraying can be carried out,” Tangimetua said.

“Cook Islands ESR cannot confirm if this is a new case or a recent case already reported to us.”

In situations like this, Tangimetua said the New Zealand ESR would contact and advise their Cook Islands counterpart.

“The latest cases reported by the Rarotonga Hospital are two probable cases on January 3, 2020. Risk assessment and peri-focal spraying was done by the health protection officers.”

Health secretary Dr Josephine Herman said “we are having only a few cases a month”.

  • Rashneel Kumar

Leave a comment