10 Jan 2017

Big leap in dengue cases in Vanuatu

9:08 am on 10 January 2017

Confirmed cases of dengue fever in Vanuatu have nearly doubled since the end of last month.

Vanuatu's Ministry of Health said the number of suspected cases stands at 596 compared with 356 in December.

Confirmed cases of mosquito borne disease reached 112 from 66 last month.

no caption

Photo: 123RF

The ministry said only six out of the 112 infected people were admitted to Vila Central Hospital while the rest were taken care of at home.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports health authorities said a combination of factors are responsible for the spike including increased movement of people between provinces during the Christmas and New Year period, and the ongoing rainy season which creates breeding sites for mosquitoes.

Symptoms include a high fever that last for more than two days, headache, vomiting, body and joint pains, sore eyes, and itching.

More serious symptoms include stomach aches, continuous vomiting, and a bleeding nose or mouth.

All blood samples of suspected cases have been sent to New Zealand for further testing.

There is no cure for dengue and the ministry said people experiencing symptoms need to drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy food and rest.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs