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NUKU'ALOFA, Tonga (March 16, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Health officials in Tonga have confirmed seven cases of dengue fever on the capital island of Tongatapu.

Nuku'alofa's Vaiola Hospital reports a slow rise in the number of people visiting the outpatient ward seeking medical attention for symptoms of the mosquito-borne disease.

A spokesman says dengue fever is no stranger to Tonga. Since the mid 1970's, two major epidemics have occurred.

Meanwhile, the Health Department has launched a national immunization program to protect children under 15 years of age against measles. The nationwide campaign is being carried out in the schools, targeting children from ages 9 months to 15 years.

The immunization program is funded by the World Health Organization as part of a Pacific-wide campaign to achieve the target of Health for All by the Year 2000.

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