1 Sep 2009

Disease outbreaks claim nearly 90 in PNG

8:38 pm on 1 September 2009

Papua New Guinea has accepted international help following outbreaks of influenza, dysentery and cholera which have claimed nearly 90 lives.

The death toll from influenza and dysentery has soared, with at least 80 people now dead in rural villages in the province of Morobe, Radio New Zealand International reports.

The province is also coping with its first cholera outbreak in 40 years. The death toll stands at seven on Tuesday.

Provincial health adviser Theo Likei says extra medical teams are being flown in to help treat hundreds of others suffering from the illnesses.

Dr Likei says help from the World Health Organisation and the Red Cross has been accepted and a decision will be made in a few days about requesting further outside assistance.