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By La Poasa

PAGO PAGO (January 2, 2002 - Samoa News/PINA Nius Online)---A viral infection with flu-like symptoms has sent many American Samoan residents, especially children, to the LBJ Tropical Medical Center’s emergency room in recent weeks.

According to Public Health Officer Dr. George Lee, the viral infection is similar to dengue fever with symptoms of high fever, body aches and headaches.

Dr. Lee recalled that during an eight-hour period one evening about 60 people, mostly children, visited the emergency room with the viral infection.

According to Public Health, children who come down with such symptoms must be taken to the hospital immediately. If the fever goes on for 2-3 weeks, it could get worse and could turn into pneumonia.

For elderly people, the viral infection could become bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

It is unclear how the viral infection came about but Dr. Lee said that the change in weather may have contributed to it.

Dr. Lee advises that parents must watch their children carefully. He also advised that local residents must eat a good nutritious diet regularly and get a lot of rest.

Hospital officials also urgently advise parents not to bring their healthy children with them when they come into the hospital to prevent the youngsters from possibly being exposed to contagious ailments.

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

For additional reports from the Samoa News, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa News.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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