1 Mar 2017

WHO says travellers could be spreading dengue in the Pacific

4:11 pm on 1 March 2017

The World Health Organisation says it's likely dengue is being spread across the Pacific by travellers.

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Photo: 123RF

In the Solomon Islands more than 10-thousand dengue fever cases have been confirmed since an outbreak last August, Vanuatu has had more than 1700 since November, and New Caledonia has had more than 1-thousand cases since September.

WHO surveillance officer Viema Biaukula said many of the outbreaks had been identified as dengue serotype 2 which she said was likely being spread by travel.

"Possibly what we are seeing around the Pacific is just a spread you know because there is a lot of travel interisland and the vectors are present and as long people are travelling carrying the virus and you have the mosquito to spread that's probably expected to be seen," said Viema Biaukula.

She says dengue serotype 2 has not been seen in some countries in 10 to 15 years and so there are likely to be quite a number of cases as more people will be susceptible.

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