The Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services have urged residents in Honiara to clean surrounding areas as the monsoon season approaches.

“There is a real concern that the dengue outbreak will worsen as the monsoon season approaches,” a spokesman for the Ministry says.

“So all it takes for dengue to spread uncontrollably is for the right conditions to occur, so a lot of rain and catchment areas are not cleared.”

He says that there is a lot that residents can do to control the spread of dengue, one of the most obvious being the clean-up of surrounding areas.

“It does not take much, just emptying possible catchments like empty bottles, cans or just areas around their homes that can catch water.”

He says that as it stands the hospital is overcrowded, “so only serious cases are admitted, the rest have had to return home, with specific advice on how to look after themselves.”

He says that the sooner that people act to help reduce mosquito breeding areas in their gardens and protect themselves from mosquito bites, the better they can help prevent the spread of dengue.

The Disease Surveillance Unit and National Vector Borne Disease Control Program of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) are working with WHO to strengthen their response to the dengue outbreak, including reducing mosquito populations.