Since leaving academia and commencing in my new role as a GP with a private medical provider in Port Moresby, we have seen an increase flu-like illness, fevers and chills resembling malaria. What most people do not know is that Dengue is currently more commoner than malaria in Port Moresby.
Dengue is transmitted by the aedes mosquito species. They are quite easy to recognise. They are black and have a white stripe across their abdomen. Just Google “aedes”. There are different types of aedes mossy species but as long as you know the big name aedes is sufficient for Joe Blo and Jane Doe.
I have had patients coming in self diagnosed with malaria and tests comes back as dengue positive. On a side note, pharmacies in Port Moresby are still selling chloroquine when it was stopped by PNG NDoH sometime back! For the last 2 months, over 90% of the patients I see daily have presented with these symptoms.
Diseases such as dengue that have a vectors whose behaviours are directly determined by the environment tend to change with environmental change and it is no surprise that the rapid developmental changes in Port Moresby has resulted in a shift in vector behaviour directly changing disease pattern in the Nation’s Capital.
Dengue in Port Moresby is here to stay and the best prevention (and the cheapest) is preventing mosquito bites.