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First Chikungunya case carried by foreign national

April 9, 2015 4:45 am

The first case of chikungunya recorded by the Ministry of Health was carried by a foreign national who was in the country for a visit.

National Advisor Communicable Diseases Dr Mike Kama says they had sent 11 samples of suspected Chikungunya cases in early March to Noumea for further tests and one returned positive.

Dr Kama says they fear that the emergence of this case will trigger an outbreak.

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“Most of the population in Fiji – as we have hypothesized or acknowledged they are largely terminologically naïve – we have never met this disease before. So, even it’s introduction and establishment would basically cause an explosive outbreak. This is what we had anticipated would happen.”

According to Dr Kama, Chikungunya and dengue fever are both caused by the same type of mosquito, therefore the prevention measures are the same.

The visitor has since been treated and has returned home.

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