Fight the Bite: New campaign to fight mosquito-borne diseases

Fight the bite – day and night. That’s the message the Ministry of Health is promoting to raise more awareness of the diseases mosquitoes in some countries can carry.

The new social media and online campaign has been prompted by recent outbreaks of dengue in parts of the Pacific and an increased number of dengue cases recorded mainly in Auckland among travellers returning from the Pacific.

263 dengue cases were reported in New Zealand from 1st August 2017 through to 14th March 2018 – with 222 believed to have been acquired in the Pacific Islands. This includes 162 in Samoa, 30 in Tonga, 24 in Fiji, one in American Samoa and one in Vanuatu. One hundred and sixty-nine people were hospitalised.

Director of Public Health Dr Caroline McElnay says fortunately, New Zealand’s mosquitos don’t spread dengue or other viral diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and Zika.

“But as the recent increase in dengue cases in Auckland shows, there is a very real risk to people travelling to countries with tropical climates. Our new campaign aims to highlight to people travelling overseas that mosquito bites can result in serious diseases, such as dengue. And these diseases can make you or your loved ones very sick.”

The best way to avoid mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes says Dr McElnay.

The Ministry has released a new video to launch the campaign with tips on how to prevent mosquito bites.

Get more information about dengue fever, including symptoms and treatment. Samoan, Tongan and Fijian translations of this information are available.

Source: Ministry of Health media release (16th March 2018).

Published on Saturday, March 17th, 2018, under Uncategorised
Page last updated: 13/08/2018

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