Pacific radio news

Warning issued over dengue fever spike

Health authorities are warning those travelling to the Pacific this holiday period to beware of mosquito bites after a spike in the number of dengue fever cases.

Photo/ CDC.

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."

Symptoms of dengue fever include the sudden onset of fever for two to seven days, intense headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting and skin rash. 

People who develop dengue hemorrhagic fever may also develop symptoms of bleeding such as bruising and nose bleeds, and internal bleeding can also occur.

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