Papau New Guinea's Health Minister has said they could consider declaring a state of emergency in two provinces if an outbreak of whooping cough gets any worse.
Already there have been dozens of deaths in East Sepik and neighbouring Madang provinces with some reports speaking of nearly eighty dead and many hundreds of cases.
Special response committees have been set up and health teams have been working to try to deliver emergency immunisation.
The Health Advisor for the Madang Provincial Health Services, Markus Kachau says the outbreak has been patchy affecting those areas where immunisation levels are lowest.
He says the average rate of innoculation in the proviince is 40-50%, well below the national targets:
"Well nationally the target should reach to 90 or 98% to reach full coverage , but you know we have factors affecting our services. In some areas we are doing well with this immunisation coverage and other areas are not doing well."
The Health Advisor for the Madang Provincial Health Services, Markus Kachau.
The govenor of neighbouring Morobe province has suggested restricting travel from Madang town, if the outbreak spreads from more isolated areas int he province.