Ministry confirms 53 dengue cases as national clean-up campaign begins

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Viola Hospital. Photo/Kalino Lātū

There have now been 53 confirmed dengue fever cases in Tonga.

The first case of the disease was confirmed in the first week of January.

The Ministry of Health declared an outbreak on January 24.

There has been one fatality, Toafei Telefoni, who died while visiting Tonga from New Zealand.

Telefoni was buried in Auckland on February 3.

Dr Siale Akau’ola, CEO of Tonga’s Ministry of Health, told Kaniva News earlier this month the influx of returning students and visitors to Tonga during the Christmas Holidays had brought in a large pool of dengue viruses which caused the outbreak.

The Ministry has issued advice to the public on signs and symptoms of dengue fever.

Indications of the disease included  fever associated with vomiting, abdominal pain, bleeding and inability to take in oral fluid.

If these symptoms were present patients needed to be supplied with plenty of fluid to stop them going into shock.

A national clean-up campaign for Tongatapu began on February 1, with teams working in the east, west and central districts to remove old refrigerators, tyres, washing machines and other rubbish that could be  breeding grounds for mosquitos.

Where dengue fever cases have been identified, houses have been supplied with mosquito nets and repellent.

Houses are inspected  and sprayed with insecticides.

The next steps will include cleaning up and spraying schools.

The main points

  • There have now been 53 confirmed dengue fever cases in Tonga.
  • The Ministry has issued advice to the public on signs and symptoms of dengue fever.
  • A national clean-up campaign for Tongatapu began on February 1, with teams working in the east, west and central districts to remove old refrigerators, tyres, washing machines and other rubbish that could be breeding grounds for mosquitos.

For more information

Dengue confirmed as cause of death of 12 year old girl, Ministry confirms 19 more cases 

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