Kiribati Health Authorities Say Dengue Outbreak Over

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Dr. Peatao Tiira says dengue ‘nothing new’ for Kiribati

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 13, 2014) – The head of Public Health in Kiribati says he believes the dengue outbreak in Kiribati has finished for now despite some people still presenting with fever.

Dr Peatao Tiira says more than 100 cases of dengue appeared over December and January but tests on patients with high temperatures now indicate a normal influenza-type illness.

He says the dengue strain detected this season is the same found in French Polynesia and New Caledonia.

Dr Tiira says he believes it started in Fiji.

He says dengue is nothing new in Kiribati and it may well return soon as it is raining again this week.

"We have the mosquito. It's only when someone who's got infected comes into the country, that's when the spread comes. So it's nothing that surprises us. We expected that, after the rain falls, we expect that. We prepare ourselves for dengue outbreak and all the other diseases related to rainfall," he said.

Dr Tiira says no one has died from dengue in Kiribati and he keeps in contact with the World Health Organisation (WHO) for advice on precautions and surveillance.

[PIR editor’s note: Meanwhile, Radio New Zealand International reports that the WHO has warned of additional spikes in dengue fever around the Pacific before the weather cools in April.]

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