Dengue impact widespread in Pacific in past 18 months

The World Health Organisation says 39,000 people have contracted dengue fever in the Pacific region over the past 18 months.

The Team Coordinator, Health Security and Communicable Diseases, Angela Merianos, says outbreaks were reported from American Samoa, Fiji, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu in 2017.

She said Wallis and Futuna has had an outbreak of dengue type 1, with French Polynesia and New Caledonia having both serotypes 1 and 2 of the illness.

Dr Merianos said Niue has had types 2 and 4, with Kiribati recently reporting type 2 dengue fever.

"Three of the serotypes of dengue are co-circulating in the Pacific at the moment. We've had over 39,000 cases of dengue reported since that time," said Dr Merianos.

"Most of that has been dengue 2, but we have had some countries also reporting dengue type 1 and dengue type 4."

Angela Merianos says there have been several fatalities but the number of deaths from dengue fever in the Pacific are well under one per cent of reported cases

She said, this indicated that prevention and treatment programmes were effective compared with international standards.

Meanwhile, Fiji's Health Ministry said there has been a decrease in the number of dengue fever cases recorded nationally in the last 6 weeks and it has announced the end of the dengue fever outbreaks that were declared earlier this year in Macuata, Nadi, Ba, and Suva.