FIJI OFFICIALS HEAR REPORTS OF DISEASE AFTER FLOODS

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Dengue fever, typhoid, leptospirosis alleged in flooded areas

By Torika Tokalau SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Feb. 1, 2012) – The Health Ministry has received reports of suspected cases of dengue fever, typhoid and leptospirosis from the flood-affected areas.

Ministry spokesperson Peni Namotu confirmed the suspected cases were reported last week.

"We are not in any position to disseminate the number of suspected cases received, but it was reported from the Rakiraki to Sigatoka corridor," he said.

"Our labs are looking into it and they will confirm by the end of the week if the suspected cases are confirmed to be communicable diseases."

[PIR editor’s note: The Fiji Red Cross has set up a water treatment plant in Ba, and two Australian Red Cross staff were flown to assist in making the plant operational. A number of communities have been affected by flooding and are unable to access fresh drinking water.]

Mr. Namotu said they were stressing to the people in flood-affected areas to take extra precautionary health measures.

"We need people to prevent themselves from contracting these communicable diseases. The ministry is doing all it can to advise people of the precautionary measures they need to take so we can prevent an outbreak."

Mr. Namotu said the ministry teams were conducting assessment of flood-affected areas, evacuation centers, the water supply and sanitary conditions.

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