1 Sep 2009

87 now dead in two separate outbreaks of diseases in PNG's Morobe Province

8:43 pm on 1 September 2009

The death toll in Papua New Guinea has soared with eighty people now dead from either influenza or dysentery in rural villages in Morobe province.

In a separate cholera outbreak in two coastal villages in the province, another person has died from the waterborne disease bringing the total dead there to seven.

The provincial health advisor Dr Likei Theo says further medical teams are flying in to help combat the hundreds of others suffering from the illnesses.

"Two thousand plus would be from influenza and three hundred plus are from dysentery. And out of those cases you would be looking at about three thousand or so cases if you add dysentery and influenza together. And out of that we have eighty deaths reported so far."

Dr Theo says the strain of influenza is unknown at this stage but he hopes to have results back from samples by the end of the week.

Dr Theo 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.