9 Dec 2017

Samoa authorities reject call for schools to close over dengue

7:55 pm on 9 December 2017

Samoa's Ministry of Health is rejecting a call for schools to be closed because of an outbreak of dengue fever.

On Wednesday opposition MP Olo Fiti Va'ai made the call after visiting a hospital he said was crowded with children infected with the disease.

The Ministry of Health's chief executive, Leausa Dr Take Naseri, said parents have been advised to keep their children at home if they show symptoms, saying Olo's call was pointless.

"I don't think closing schools is appropriate for a mosquito-born disease. This is not contagious in the sense that it spreads from person to person by contact," he said.

"This is the mosquitoes doing their job by biting people and then biting other people."

Leausa Dr Naseri said the number of cases was steadily rising, with symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to minimal bleeding.

He said there were as many as 80 cases being diagnosed each day.