FIJI MOSQUITO SPRAYING AGAINST DENGUE FEVER NOT EFFECTIVE

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SUVA, Fiji (January 13, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Australian epidemiologist Tony Stewart, in Fiji to help health authorities control the dengue fever epidemic, says the current mosquito spraying campaign in the country is not effective.

Efforts by the Health Ministry and some town councils to control the dengue virus through mosquito spraying programs, he adds, may be a futile exercise, Radio Fiji reports.

Stewart, who is one of two experts in the country to assist the ministry draw up plans to counter the dengue outbreak, says mosquitoes will continue to breed despite the spraying.

He also has advised people not to take aspirin if they suspect infection with the virus. Aspirin, Stewart says, can be quite risky, recommending that panadol be used instead.

Meanwhile, The Daily Post reports that ten children are among 25 new dengue fever cases admitted to Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

Medical Superintendent Dr. Mary Schramm said some of the cases are serious.

Already four people have died in Fiji in the latest outbreak of the disease.

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