Dengue cases now 55

Thursday May 30, 2019 Written by Published in National
Health officers inspecting a garden during Operation Namu in wake of the dengue outbreak earlier this year. 19052922 Health officers inspecting a garden during Operation Namu in wake of the dengue outbreak earlier this year. 19052922

Dengue cases have jumped to 55 in the current outbreak and this has been confirmed by the Ministry for Health.

 Earlier this month, it was last reported that there were 22 probable cases and 18 confirmed.

From the 22 cases, 19 were reported in Rarotonga and three in Aitutaki.

MoH says as of last Friday there are now 22 confirmed cases and 33 probable cases.

The ministry stated that the confirmed cases have increased after the test results of the three Aitutaki cases and a case that was diagnosed in Rarotonga have been declared as DENV-1 virus from the New Zealand lab.

No one has been admitted at the Rarotonga Hospital or Aitutaki at the moment, the MoH says.

It was earlier stated that there are three levels of dengue classification and they are: confirmed (NZ test positive), probable (Cook Islands test positive) and suspected (no test undertaken).

The tests are conducted in the Cook Islands as a low cost rapid diagnostic test to help in the early diagnosis of dengue and provides time to prepare in case the patient develops severe dengue.

Te Marae Ora sends for further diagnosis to New Zealand to confirm the virus results and obtain serotypes DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 or DENV-4.

The MoH has said that depending on clinical presentation being suspicious for dengue, then the rapid test is performed – results can be available within the hour.

If the rapid test is positive and the clinical presentation is compatible with dengue, then the patient is classified as probable dengue.

Bloods are then sent to New Zealand and if a special test is positive, then it is classified as Confirmed dengue.

The ministry continues to conduct its health inspection through the Tutaka programme and also through its vector surveillance team.

 This month between May 20- 25 the Tutaka team was out inspecting areas around Rarotonga focusing mainly on mosquito breeding and resting places.

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