At least 51 cases of dengue were reported last week from Marshall Islands taking the total number of lab confirmed cases to 161 so far this year. According to an update from the Government of the Marshall Islands, around 607 suspect dengue fever cases have been recorded so far this year. Dengue, spread by bite of female mosquito, Aedes aegypti, becomes prevalent in monsoon and post-monsoon seasons. Mosquitoes spreading dengue, malaria, Zika virus, Chikungunya, Yellow fever, among others breed in stagnant water.
All the dengue cases in Marshall Islands have been reported from Ebeye and Majuro. At least 256 cases were from Ebeye while 351 were from Majuro. One death was reported from Majuro and 178 people were hospitalised.
A total of 75 new cases were seen during week 39 were 14 percent increase from week 38 bringing the total of 760 cases since January 1 this year.
People with low immunity, elderly people, children and pregnant women are more prone to get infected by dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases. Since the dengue mosquito bites during early morning and in evening before dusk, people can prevent themselves by wearing full-sleeved clothes, use mosquito repellent and mosquito nets.
People should keep a check of accumulation of water in the neighbourhood as well as within the home. One should clear-off stagnant water which serves as breeding grounds for diseases spreading mosquitoes.
Initial symptoms of dengue include high fever, severe headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea or vomiting, soaring of eyes, fatigue, rash among others. People witnessing any of these symptoms should visit nearby hospital to get the necessary tests done. Dengue patients can take painkillers but must avoid aspirin or ibuprofen as it may increase the risk of bleeding. Follow the medication prescribed by doctors and avoid self-medication.
Dengue patients should take adequate rest and drink plenty of fluids including coconut water and juices for timely recovery.