PACIFIC EXPECTS TWO NEW MOSQUITO-BORNE DISEASES

Dengue Fever Mosquito. Photo credit: zipheal.com

Dengue Fever Mosquito. Photo credit: zipheal.com

Two new mosquito-borne diseases are expected to reach the Pacific shores.

Fiji’s National Advisor for communicable diseases, Dr Mike Kama says though the dengue virus may start to decline, people should remain vigilant and continue with clean up campaigns.

He says, the two new viruses are Chikungunya and Zika.

Doctor Kama explains, in French Polynesia, New Caledonia and the Cook Islands, ongoing zika virus outbreaks have been confirmed and Tonga has reported a chikungunya outbreak.

Both viruses are caused by mosquitoes with the viral disease transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

He says, they are not transmitted directly from person to person and there is no vaccine for them.

Dr. Kama adds, Chikungunya is characterised by severe, sometimes persistent, joint pain as well as fever and rash.

He says, Zika causes mild self-limiting symptoms of low-grade fever, rash, muscle and body aches and headache.

The doctor says, it is important we continue to destroy mosquito breeding places because these viruses have the same symptoms as dengue.

He says, theses two diseases might reach our shores so the prevention campaign should still be the same.

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