FEARS OF DENGUE EPIDEMIC IN FIJI PUTS TONGA ON ALERT

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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (December 20, 1998 - PACNEWS)---Tonga's Ministry of Health has issued a national alert following reports of a suspected resurgence of dengue fever in Fiji.

The Ministry has warned people to destroy all potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes, to prevent diseases such as dengue fever and typhoid.

In a nation-wide radio broadcast, the Ministry has warned the public that such diseases could re-occur, just as there are suspicions of a fresh outbreak of dengue fever in Fiji.

Fiji's Ministry of Health says it has contained the outbreak, which was reported despite massive clean up and anti-mosquito spraying campaigns earlier in the year, after a dengue epidemic claimed 14 lives last year.

Last week, a 74-year old man died from dengue fever as he was being rushed to hospital by boat from an outer island. He is the only reported dengue victim this time.

There are fresh concerns about dengue fever and typhoid in Tonga in the aftermath of Cyclone Cora, which hit Tonga at the Christmas long weekend.

Tonga's Health Ministry has urged residents to boil drinking water and ensure cleanliness in food preparations.

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