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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (April 6, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Tonga)---Health authorities in Tonga have warned of a possible major outbreak of typhoid fever in the Kingdom.

In the Tongatapu island group, where the capital, Nuku‘alofa, is located, nine cases of typhoid have been reported since the beginning of the year.

A senior Public Health Division official said five of the cases were from the village of Tatakamotonga. The latest victim, a young girl, has been admitted to Vaiola Hospital in Nuku‘alofa for treatment.

As a preventative measure, the official urged local residents to boil drinking water.

Last week, health officials in Nauru issued a similar warning about a possible typhoid outbreak. They believed the disease might have been introduced from either Fiji or Kiribati.

Nauru’s health inspectors were instructed to confiscate and destroy all imported foodstuff from the two countries suspected of being contaminated with the disease.

Meanwhile, on the Tongan island of Niuafo‘ou, 200 people are being treated for influenza.

The Island’s health officer, Asipeli Mafi ,said the epidemic might have been caused by the prolonged drought on the island.

Asipeli advised islanders to drink fluids, such as fruit juice and boiled water.

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