15 Apr 2013

Pacific should prepare for dengue spread: SPC

6:03 pm on 15 April 2013

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community's Health Protection manager says there is a very high risk the dengue fever that is affecting Solomon Islands will spread around the Pacific.

Three people have died in Solomon Islands due to dengue, with more than 2 and a half thousand cases reported.

A state of emergency is in place at the national referral hospital due to the outbreak.

The SPC's Yvan Souares says the strain of dengue is not unusual, but the population is particularly vulnerable because it hasn't been seen in Solomon Islands for a while.

"There are four dengue viruses and they circulate at various times and they take turns if your prefer. So this one hasn't been seen in most of the islands for 15 years but it is not unusual. The four dengue viruses have been the same for hundreds of thousands of years."

Yvan Souares says the fever will most likely spread to other countries in the Pacific, and governments and citizens should be safeguarding against the mosquito borne disease.