The number of confirmed dengue case has increased from 66 by December 2016 to 112 cases on January 6, less than a month later.
According to a report issued by the Ministry of Health Friday on January 6,2017 the number of suspected cases raised from 356 (December 2016 Report) to 596 suspected cases as of January 6.
Although the increase rate has rapidly increased, fortunately the Ministry of Health (MoH) has recorded no deaths as a result of Dengue so far.
From the 596 suspected cases, 401 cases were recorded in Port Vila and the Efate outer Islands, 76 of the case have been confirmed positive.
Luganville (Sanma) has recorded the second highest number of suspected cases, 93 and 12 positive cases.
On Lenakel, Tanna (Tafea) 60 suspected cases were recorded but 20 were confirmed positive, the second highest number of confirmed cases after Port Vila.
42 suspected cases were recorded at Norsup,Malekula (Malampa), three of which were confirmed positive.
The outbreak has spread to the northern most Province of Torba where one suspected case has been confirmed positive at Quatvaes mini-hospital.
Health authorities confirmed that the cases originated from Port Vila according to the traveling history of the people who have been confirmed positive.
“There is also a possibility there are most cases in the other Islands occurred because of the mass movement of people traveling to the islands for Christmas and New Year Celebrations,” stated the recent press release from the MoH.
As normally practiced, blood samples of the cased cases were send to New Zealand to be tested for confirmation.
Meanwhile Dengue Fever has 4 stereotypes and type 2 is being blamed for the current epidemic.
The current rainy season provided a lot of breathing sites for mosquitos hence the MoH is expecting the epidemic to be wide spread.
“It is important to understand that the responsibility to prevent Dengue Fever is the responsibility of each individual, and their families.
“If a person is showing symptoms of dengue fever, he or she has to visit a health facility as soon as possible.”
Dengue symptoms include high fever that last for more than two days, headache, vomiting, body and joint pains, sore eye, and itching.
More serious symptoms include stomach ache, continues vomiting, bleeding nose or mouth, and death.
Since there is no cure for dengue, patients are advised to get a lot of rest, eat healthy and drink a lot of water or fluid.
“Due to the huge increase of suspected and confirmed cases the Dengue Task Force put together by the MoH continues to meeting weekly to profile the outbreak and adjust control strategies,” stated a statement from the ministry.
The team has refrain from spraying mosquito pesticides inside and outside buildings due to the continuous rain but their focus has been shifted to health education and awareness.
The Task Force is engaging the public to fight the epidemic and issued information about the activities. People are advised to destroy possible breeding sites for mosquitos, keep their properties clean, wear long sleeve shirts and pants, sleep under a mosquito net, install screen doors and windows and used mosquito repellant.
“The Ministry of Health is encouraging all members of the public to take all necessary efforts to protect themselves and their families from Dengue Fever.”
Health authorities suspect the outbreak will continue to extent for a period for more weeks before a decrease is expected.