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Government spray teams attempt to contain outbreak

By Giff Johnson

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, Jan. 16, 2012) – The Marshall Islands dengue fever outbreak appears to be on the decline in Majuro, but the number of cases reported on Ebeye Island since Christmas have slowly but steadily increased.

Ebeye health officials report 101 suspected cases, with 46 of those confirmed as dengue. The majority of the Ebeye cases occurred over the past two weeks.

In Majuro and Ebeye, government spray teams have been busy with mosquito eradication efforts and covering catchment tanks with screening. About one thousand five hundred homes, businesses and government facilities have been sprayed over the past six weeks, according to Chief Secretary Casten Nemra and Environmental Protection Authority officials.

Since the outbreak of dengue fever began in Majuro in early October, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 643 cases through Wednesday this week.

But the number of cases being reported in Majuro has dropped off dramatically compared to October and November last year, Health officials report. A total of 714 cases have been confirmed nationwide, with the majority of these cases identified in 2011.

Nobody has died during this dengue outbreak, though there are currently 13 people undergoing treatment at Majuro and Ebeye hospitals, Nemra said.

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