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Fiji’s environment a hot spot for communicable diseases

August 20, 2019 4:39 pm
Health Minister Dr. Iferemi Waqainabete

Health Minister Dr. Iferemi Waqainabete says Fiji’s tropical climate makes it a hot spot for communicable diseases to thrive.

These conditions are only acerbated by the effects of climate change in our region.

“We have issues around leptospirosis, dengue, typhoid and our public health teams are working very hard with the communities so we can find ways to reduce it. I wish we could eliminate it, it’s not easy, and it’s difficult. It’s a challenge but we have to work very hard around it”.

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This comes as the Ministry of Health issues a public advisory on meningococcal disease which has killed 12 Fijians to date.

Dr. Waqainabete says anyone with symptoms such a sudden fever, vomiting, headache and a red and or purple rash on their skin needs to immediately see a doctor or go to their nearest health clinic.

Meningococcal disease is a life-threatening disease caused by bacteria which can cause infections in the lining of the brain or in the blood or both.

According to the Ministry of Health, most people who get the disease and are treated appropriately will recover fully, however, 8 – 12 percent will still die, and around 20 percent will have permanent disabilities such as severe brain damage.

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