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Dengue death in Tonga

Following the death of a New Zealand girl, Tonga has declared a Dengue outbreak. The 12 year old had been visiting family for Christmas when she caught the disease.

All 19 cases are confined to the main island Tonga’tapu, said Dr Siale 'Akau'ola, the Ministry for Health’s Chief Executive. As dengue is not prevalent in Tonga, officials were not aware there was an outbreak until the girl was admitted to hospital, and in turn have advised regional governments.

Tonga’s focus is the eradication of breeding grounds and disease containment.

Precautions include the use of insect repellents, wearing long sleeved clothes and the use of bed nets where possible. Many items have been made available from the ministry and the Red Cross.

Upon falling ill the advice is to rest and take on plenty of fluid, but if abdominal pain, vomiting or bleeding starts then visit a doctor.

Dengue is carried by an Asian tiger mosquito distinguished by black and white markings.

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