With 33 confirmed dengue fever cases reported on the island this year to date, Tonga health officials declared an outbreak concerning the mosquito borne illness.

Aedes mosquito
Aedes aegypti image/CDC

A Matangi Tonga report states the Head of the NCD/Health Promotion Unit at the Ministry of Health, Dr ‘Ofa Tukia is calling on the public to be vigilant as dengue fever is a viral disease spread by mosquitoes. She said of the 33 confirmed cases, 17 were in Tongatapu, 12 in Vava’u and four in Ha’apai.

“We expect the number of suspected cases to rise. Since there is no specific treatment or vaccine for dengue fever the best protection against it is to control the breeding places around your house an prevent mosquito bites during an outbreak,” she said.

The number of cases are up nine since Jan. 22 when 24 were reported. At that time, two cases of hemorrhagic fever were reported. No reported deaths.

There were 46 confirmed cases in 2014.