DENGUE EPIDEMIC TOPS 2,200 IN FRENCH POLYNESIA

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Half of cases affect youth under 20

PAPEÉTE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, July 29, 2009) - Health officials announced in Papeéte that 2,265 dengue fever cases have been reported as of July 19 in French Polynesia.

The number of type-4 dengue fever cases keeps on increasing since the beginning of the epidemic last February.

All these cases have been confirmed by Tahitian laboratories, Health officials said.

The type-4 dengue fever is now the only kind of dengue fever to be found in French Polynesia.

The last type-1 dengue fever has been confirmed more than eight weeks ago.

Only 43 of the type-4 dengue fever cases had to be sent to a hospital for a medical treatment.

This dengue fever mostly affects young persons. About 50 percent of the cases are persons aged between 10 and 19.

The type-4 dengue fever has not reached French Polynesia since the early 80s. This explains why so many inhabitants are susceptible to catching this dengue strain.

There are four strains of dengue fever - 1, 2, 3 and 4. Historically, the 1 and 3 strains are the most frequently documented dengue epidemics since 1971 in French Polynesia.

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