Dengue and leptospirosis outbreak in Fiji

Wednesday August 19, 2020 Written by RNZ Published in Small World
Soldiers help clean up in the capital Suva. Photo: FIJIAN GOVT Soldiers help clean up in the capital Suva. Photo: FIJIAN GOVT

Fiji has declared an outbreak of dengue fever and leptospirosis diseases in the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic, RNZ reports.

This week the health ministry announced four people had died from dengue while 10 others died from leptospirosis this year.

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete said between January and July, 3300 dengue cases and 1000 cases of leptospirosis were recorded.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease which, without treatment, can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, respiratory distress and death.

The bacteria is often spread through the urine of infected animals, which can get into water or soil and can survive for weeks

Dengue is a debilitating mosquito-borne disease.

Waqainabete said he was concerned at the spike in cases and urged the public to remain cautious.

"We want to work at it so we can reach a time when there are zero cases. But this is something we have to work collectively with the public.

"We have Covid-19 and we must realise that this is something where we'll need everyone's help."

The minister said people needed to take more responsibility for their well-being.

The government said the majority of the cases were recorded in Suva, Serua-Namosi, Rewa, Naitasiri and Tailevu.

It said the number of cases had also increased following Cyclone Harold in April.

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