24 Aug 2015

Better stats responsible for spike in American Samoa dengue cases

1:23 pm on 24 August 2015

Authorities in American Samoa are putting a recent spike in dengue fever cases down to better record keeping, and not a resurgence of the virus.

Last week, the territory recorded 338 cases of the mosquito-borne virus, an increase of 54 from the previous week.

The outbreak has claimed four lives since it began in May, and since then authorities have been working to eradicate mosquito breeding areas and increase the amount of medication available to combat it.

The Asian tiger mosquito is one of the vectors responsible for transmitting dengue fever.

The Asian tiger mosquito is one of the vectors responsible for transmitting dengue fever. Photo: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Monica Miller, says while dengue is very much still present in American Samoa, epidemiologists says the spike is no cause for alarm.

"So now the hospital is changing where it's getting all these stats from and that's why you're seeing a spike. That also accounts for the number of admissions, they've now gone back and counted all the admissions in the hospital that were channeled through the different clinics. So that's why you're seeing that."

Monica Miller says with the new school year starting on Monday, a massive cleanup operation has been undertaken with a two US military personnel being flown in to conduct spraying this weekend.