Published On: Tue, Jan 7th, 2014

Fiji dengue outbreak grows amid concerns over circulating DENV 3 strain

The number of dengue fever cases reported in the Pacific island of Fiji has grown to 406 cases since the start of November last year, including 195 cases recorded since the New Year.

According to a Fiji Times Online report today, the majority of the cases since Jan. 1 (167) have been reported from the Central Division, while the Western Division recorded 28 cases. The Northern Division has yet to report a case.

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito Image/CDC

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito

Also of great concern on the Pacific island is the strain of virus circulating. In an interview on Radio Australia, World Health Organization epidemiologist, Dr Eric Nilles said DENV 1 is the strain of the virus usually seen in Fiji over the past many years; however, DENV 3 is the strain circulating on Fiji and other island, a strain Dr Nilles says hasn’t really been see in the Pacific for two decades.

“What this means is that a large proportion of the population is susceptible to this type of infection,” he said.

“It means that there is the potential for larger and more explosive outbreaks than if it is one of the types that have been circulating for some time.”

Will this outbreak spread? Nilles says, “Certainly there’s potential for the DENV 3 to spread in Fiji and beyond.” He does state it is difficult to predict how this outbreak will go.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne, potentially fatal disease that affects between 50 and 100 million people in tropical and subtropical regions every year, causing fever and muscle and joint aches.

According to the World Health Organization, Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever are present in urban and suburban areas in the Americas, South-East Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and the WesternPacific and dengue fever is present mainly in rural areas in Africa.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Fiji dengue outbreak tops 10,000 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] says the outbreak involves the type-3 strain of dengue fever which has never been seen before in the […]

  2. Fiji reports three dengue-related deaths as outbreak total hits 1,400 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Related story: Fiji dengue outbreak grows amid concerns over circulating DENV 3 strain […]

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