17 Apr 2007

Dengue concerns re-emerge in New Caledonia

6:51 pm on 17 April 2007

Health officials in New Caledonia have issued an alert against a possible epidemic of dengue fever after two cases were reported in the territory.

A dengue outbreak killed 20 people there in 2003, and the government says the latest cases show the people affected had not been travelling outside the territory.

It says this indicates that local mosquitoes are responsible and the government is taking seriously the risk of an epidemic.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine against dengue fever but early detection can improve chances of survival.

The illness is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes and causes a severe, flu-like illness and internal bleeding.