FIJI'S FIGHT AGAINST DENGUE FEVER TO COST MILLIONS

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SUVA, Fiji (February 1, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Fiji's Minister of Health, Leo Smith, says the fight against the mosquito-borne dengue fever epidemic will cost the country over $F 4 million ($US 2.1million).

Included in the cost, Smith says, are insecticide spraying, mosquito breeding ground cleanup campaigns and treatment for dengue patients at hospitals throughout Fiji, the Daily Post reports.

More than 6,500 Fiji residents have contracted the virus since December, causing eight deaths.

Late last week, Smith briefed the Cabinet on the latest dengue outbreak developments.

Cabinet then directed applicable government ministries to carry out a concerted effort to contain the epidemic.

The Public Works Department, the Fiji Police Force and the Fiji Military Force will assist the Health Ministry in cleaning up suspected mosquito breeding areas, such as overgrown grass areas and blocked drainage ditches.

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