19th September 07:41 AM
Health Ministry confident in dengue preventing wolbachia program after 9 deaths last year
By Rashika Kumar
Tuesday 20/08/2019

There were 4,000 cases of dengue fever in the country last year and nine people lost their lives, however the Health Ministry is confident that dengue cases will continue to go down as the wolbachia program goes forward.

It has also been confirmed that Fiji recorded 1,894 dengue cases in the first four months of this year. The most number of cases were recorded in the Lami/Nausori corridor.

This has been confirmed by the Chief Health Inspector of the Ministry of Health, Dip Chand who says it is encouraging to see the levels of dengue preventing wolbachia bacteria carrying mosquitoes increasing.

The World Mosquito Program has stopped releasing wolbachia carrying mosquitoes in the Central Division as the population of wolbachia carrying mosquitoes can now be sustained.

Project coordinator, Aminiasi Tavui says it is encouraging to see wolbachia levels increase in Lami, Suva and Nakasi where they have completed the release and the levels are expected to remain high over time.

Tavui says it will take time for Wolbachia to fully establish in the local mosquito population but they are confident in seeing a long-term reduction in dengue fever cases.

He adds the organisation is now releasing mosquitoes in Nadi, Lautoka and Nausori.

Wolbachia is a naturally occurring bacteria present in 60% of insect species such as butterflies and moths.

Wolbachia blocks the transmission of the dengue virus.

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