28 Jul 2015

Dengue numbers in American Samoa expected to climb

2:38 pm on 28 July 2015

The number of suspected dengue fever cases in American Samoa has now gone past 150.

And health authorities anticipate the numbers of sufferers will continue to climb with increased public awareness about the illness and people heeding advice to seek treatment early if they suspect they have dengue.

Four people have died of the mosquito borne virus but there have been no fatalities related to dengue in the past two weeks.

The leader of a United States Centre for Disease Control team in the territory, Tyler Sharp, says they cannot be sure how much longer dengue will pose a problem.

"But as long as people are aware that dengue is here and they are taking all the steps to avoid getting dengue - using mosquito repellant, sleeping in areas either with air conditioning or with screens on their windows, and then again if they do get sick with dengue or something that looks like dengue then going to get evaluated by a medical professional. That is really the most that we can do right now, in additional to cleaning up, getting rid of any of the water containers."

The Asian tiger mosquito is one of the vectors responsible for transmitting dengue fever.

The Asian tiger mosquito is one of the vectors responsible for transmitting dengue fever. Photo: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY