17 May 2007

American Samoa pushes fight against dengue

6:39 pm on 17 May 2007

The Department of Health in American Samoa is stressing the importance of the 'three D's' of dengue prevention.

Dengue fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitos with symptoms including fever, severe headaches, body and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, eye pain and rash.

There have been 16 reported cases of dengue fever in American Samoa this year, an increase of nine cases since last month.

The Public Health Officer and Medical Director for the Department of Health, Doctor Ivan Tuliau, says there are three key steps to help prevent dengue fever.

"We're calling it the three D's of dengue prevention, the first is drain, D for drain standing water around the house that may serve as mosquito breeding sites. The second D is for dress protective, long sleeve shirts, long pants, covering exposed skin as possible. And the last is deet, to use mosquito repellant containing deet, D E E T."

Doctor Tuliau says the last dengue epidemic was in 2001, when there were more than 100 cases of dengue fever, but from 2003 to 2006 only three dengue cases were reported.