6 Aug 2015

Suspected dengue cases rise in American Samoa

9:45 am on 6 August 2015
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

In American Samoa, the number of suspected dengue fever cases has risen to 238, up from more than 180 in one week.

The latest update from the Department of Health put the number of suspected cases of dengue fever hospitalisations at 75.

The number of deaths has remained at four.

Epidemiologist for the Health Department Scott Anesi says the Department and LBJ are now doing a recount of cases which presented with dengue fever symptoms and this is one reason why the numbers have gone up .

He says a lot more blood samples are being sent off island for testing with the latest batch being shipped off last night.

Meanwhile, before the team from the Centers for Disease Control left the territory Friday, team leader Dr Tyler Sharp said people should not be alarmed by the increase in numbers.

Dr Tyler says as awareness about dengue spreads, people are more likely to come in early for treatment, and that will help prevent dengue cases from progressing to a serious stage.

"So, severe abdominal pain, persistant vomitting, any bleeding. If patients see those signs, then they need to seek medical care immediately. And it seems that that message is getting through."

Dr Sharp says people should continue to heed advice from DOH about dengue fever.

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