13 Jan 2017

Dengue epidemic declared in New Caledonia

9:55 pm on 13 January 2017

Health authorities in New Caledonia have declared a dengue epidemic after a large increase in the number of people being infected this month.

The Asian tiger mosquito is one of the vectors responsible for transmitting dengue fever.

The Asian tiger mosquito is one of the vectors responsible for transmitting dengue fever. Photo: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

There have been 163 cases of Type 1 dengue fever recorded since the start of December - 80 of them in the first 10 days of this year.

A health official Valentine Eurisouke said it was a worrying situation and could develop into a major epidemic.

Eleven people, three of them children, had been admitted to hospital which was more than double the number of people admitted in previous outbreaks.

Passengers from Vanuatu were being checked at the airport as Vanuatu was also experiencing a Type 2 dengue outbreak.

Members of the public were being urged to destroy all possible breeding grounds for mosquitoes and to seek immediate medical assistance if they experienced a fever, headaches or joint pain.

The last major dengue epidemic in New Caledonia in 2003 killed 19 people.

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