23 May 2003

Dengue death toll in New Caledonia reaches 11

3:45 pm on 23 May 2003

A 57-year old man has become the 11th fatality in a dengue fever outbreak on the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia.

The AFP news agency reports health authorities saying the victim died at the weekend after contracting the mosquito-borne illness.

The outbreak started in January and has claimed 11 lives since the start of April.

There are 3,500 cases, making the epidemic the worst in the territory since 1995.

The government has battled to raise awareness of the outbreak and has carried out aerial spraying of insecticides to kill mosquito larvae.

However efforts to stop mosquito breeding have been hampered by intense heat and humidity.