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APIA, Samoa (October 21, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Samoa's Department of Health is investigating a severe outbreak of scabies in the remote village of Falealupo on Savaii Island.

According to Kirstin Taylor and Carol Ah Chong of THORN, a Christian aid agency, who visited the village recently, most of Falealupo's 200 adults and children are covered from head to toe in scabies.

The agency representatives say the local community hospital has no medical supplies to treat the victims and cellophane tape is being used to cover the sores. They believe an inadequate supply of clean water may have contributed to the situation, although the Water Authority says fresh water is trucked in daily.

Samoa's Health Minister, Misa Retzlaff, is monitoring the situation and has asked for a full report on the matter.

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