The Principal Environmental Health Officer with the Ministry of Health, Ta’aititi Seve Sinei
By Rula Su’a – Vaai
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 05 DECEMBER 2017: The Principal Environmental Health Officer with the Ministry of Health has confirmed that the Ministry is investigating 3 deaths suspected from dengue fever.
Ta’aititi Seve Sinei told Talamua that it is unofficial at this stage, but samples are being tested at the hospital’s laboratory.
“Tests usually take about a week then they are sent overseas for more testing and confirmation,” he explained.
The suspected cases of three deaths are all local patients. “It is our usual process of seeking a second opinion from overseas hospitals, and samples from the patients suspected of dengue fever are sent to Australia.”
Ta’aititi has also dismissed news reports and what’s circulating on social media claiming a man died of dengue fever as not true.
“There is no official confirmation whether dengue fever was the cause of his death. It can only be confirmed if it is tested positive. But at this stage it is unconfirmed,” he stated.
Latest statistics released by the Ministry on the dengue fever outbreak shows cases increased steadily from July to November this year.
“It continues to increase,” says Ta’aititi.
There were 10 confirmed cases recorded in July. Then the number jumped to 322 in November. Out of 2,585 cases reported, only 322 are confirmed.
According to Ta’aititi, the age group affected by dengue fever are 15 years down to toddlers and most of the cases are from the town area. There are more male cases compared to females.
Ta’aititi is urging the public to reduce mosquito breeding places, especially inside the houses. “It is advisable to use mosquito nets, mosquito repellents, insect sprays, and keep the house clean at all times.”