4 Feb 2009

Call for Fijians to take precautions against water borne disease

8:39 pm on 4 February 2009

Fiji Health officials are calling on the community to boil all drinking water and remove water containers from their homes to prevent water borne illnesses.

Hundreds of people are suffering from illnesses after floods last month that killed 11 people.

A medical officer in the Western division, Dr Tharid Ali, says three people there are suffering from leptospirosis, 17 from diarrhoea and one person from dengue.

He says they're raising community awareness, but adds there's a lot the community can do to stop the spread.

"The advice to people wading in flood waters is to wear appropriate footwear so that the leptospiral bacteria doesn't have access to the body. As far as diarrhoeal diseases are concerned, we are advising people to boil water, and for dengue fever, it's to destroy all mosquito breeding grounds."

In the Northern division, 100 people are treated for viral- and another 100 for skin infections, 80 for diarrhoe, 86 for dengue, six for typhoid and a couple for leptospirosis.