DENGUE INCREASING IN SOUTH PACIFIC, SAYS U.S. STUDY

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SYDNEY, Australia (July 8, 2002 - PINA Nius Online)---An American study has found mosquito-borne dengue fever more prevalent than ever before in tropical parts of the world, including the South Pacific.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found dengue fever, plus the potentially deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever, is on the increase throughout Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

It is expected to escalate further, the Sydney Morning Herald said in a report on the study.

The study was conducted by the Department of Viral Diseases at Walter Reed Army Institute near Washington, D. C.

Dengue fever, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, kills thousands of people a year around the world.

Dr. John Scott, Queensland manager of the public health service, told the Sydney Morning Herald that Australian authorities knew their close neighbors had experienced an increase in the prevalence of dengue fever.

He said travelers should also be aware of this.

"The issue at the moment is that there's no vaccination available for dengue, so it's a matter of people taking the precautions we would advise for all mosquito-borne illness," Dr. Scott said.

They included wearing protective clothing and using mosquito repellant and mosquito nets.

Pacific Islands which have recently experienced major dengue outbreaks include French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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