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Fight the Bite

Fight the Bite: Ministry of Health launches 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 social media and online campaign starts today and 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.

From 1 August last year through to 14 March, 263 dengue cases were reported in New Zealand, 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.”

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

The Ministry has released a new video to launch the campaign (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAwDFkD2xLY) with tips on how to prevent mosquito bites.

More information about dengue, including symptoms and treatment, as well as Samoan, Tongan and Fijian translations, is available here: https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/conditions-and-treatments/diseases-and-illnesses/dengue.

ends


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