Travellers warned of Pacific dengue fever outbreak

A spate of dengue fever outbreaks in the Pacific has sparked a health warning for New Zealanders travelling there.

Holidaymakers were advised to take extra precautions to avoid being being bitten by mosquitoes, Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) said.

It comes as 35 cases of dengue fever have been confirmed in Auckland so far this year, it said, with 24 of those cases originating from Fiji.

Fiji has recorded more than 10,000 cases of dengue fever, with 11 deaths, since October.

The disease has also emerged in French Polynesia, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

Zika virus, which is similar to dengue, is widespread in French Polynesia, with cases also found in New Caledonia and the Cook Islands.

Another similar virus, chikungunya, has recently caused an outbreak in Papua New Guinea.

Dengue fever symptoms begin with a high fever and severe headache. Nausea and vomiting are common, as are joint and muscle pain.

There is no vaccine for dengue fever, Zika or chikungunya. The only way to prevent infection was to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, ARPHS said.

 

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