Dengue Fever in Samoa
By: Tosimaeʻa Tupua
Independent Samoa has confirmed cases of dengue fever. Acting Director General Tagaloa of Health in Samoa Robert Thomsen said, while there is a presence of dengue fever, the evidence does not suggest Samoa will experience an outbreak. With cases of dengue fever reported in Samoa, KVZK News asked Dr Elizabeth Lauvao if the Department of Health is prepared in case there is an outbreak here. She said we are experiencing unusually high numbers of dengue cases for this time of year all over the Pacific.
“With the rainy season well upon us it is important that action is put in place to minimize illness and deaths from dengue”. She continued, “dengue fever usually occurs after rain and flooding and people need to watch out for mosquito breeding places. There is no specific treatment for dengue but early detection, improved clinical management and access to proper medical care for severe dengue can reduce fatality rates. She told KVZK News that her team will continue to look out for any cases of dengue in the Territory. Dr Lauvao advises members of the public to contact DOH if they are experiencing symptoms of dengue fever including diarrhea, acute fever and rash.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms typically appear three to fourteen days after infection. These may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin itching and skin rash.