Although there is no malaria in Fiji, occasionally dengue fever outbreaks occur. It’s a similar but not nearly as threatening disease – the last widespread outbreak was in early 2014. Outbreaks are usually restricted to urban areas after prolonged heavy rains and are acted upon swiftly by the authorities with spraying to kill the dengue-spreading mosquitoes – it’s only the black and white striped day-biting mosquito that causes dengue infection. If you become infected, tell-tale signs include aching joints accompanied by intense headaches, a sudden high fever, chills, nausea and sometimes a red rash which usually first appears on the lower limbs or chest. The symptoms will last anywhere from five to fifteen days. Although the recommended cure is simple – stay in bed, drink plenty of water and wait it out – it’s advisable to consult a doctor. In more severe cases, a doctor will administer intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and acetaminophen to reduce fever. Avoid aspirin as this can often cause complications. Whilst the fever is rarely life-threatening in fit adults, the elderly and children are prone to complications and death can result – if an outbreak is present, take extra precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.

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