6 May 2009

Fiji is battling chicken pox outbreak

3:54 pm on 6 May 2009

Fiji is battling an outbreak of chicken pox with 177 cases reported from 62 locations around the country for the first quarter of this year alone.

Last year, the ministry recorded a total of 180 cases of the infectious disease reported from 77 different sites.

A Ministry of Health spokesperson, Iliesa Tora, says there may be more cases as figures exclude those seen by private doctors.

He says the onset of colder weather may have brought on the increase and says a survey is being carried out to determine how serious the situation is.

"We're getting reports from all the health facilities. We're getting our weekly updates. But we're asking our health facilities as part of our reporting system to report on a weekly basis so that we can compile the figures for the survey to see how best we can fight it."

Iliesa Tora says health officials have requested people to take the necessary precautionary measures if they developed any of the symptoms.

Chicken pox symptoms include fever, runny nose, and painful or itchy skin lesions.