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SUVA, Fiji (Oceania Flash, April 29) - The French army based in
New Caledonia has been called in to help control a serious epidemic of
mosquito-transmitted type 1 dengue fever, which has killed eight and infected
some 1,600 residents since January this year, RFO's Télé-Nouvelle-Calédonie

The epidemic has been aggravated by the cyclone Erica on March
14, which created widespread debris.

An awareness campaign was stepped up last week with mass
spraying by small aircraft.

The army is now operating teams that are called in to clean and
disinfect suspicious larvae-breeding areas.

"The aerial spraying is using an 'adulticide', a product
that kills flying adult mosquito, while on the ground, what is used is larvicide,
which targets the larvae," Territorial Health Preventive Services head Dr
Bernard Rouchon said.

This week, New Caledonia's government has introduced a new,
graphic television awareness clip.

Perceived as one of the harshest ever seen on local television,
it carries such messages as "How many more dead do we need to understand
dengue kills?" or "dengue kills. Protect yourself".

It also tells the story of Noémie, 28, who "died on April
23, 2003. She was 18 and she was to marry next month."

For the first time, also, it is officially admitted in the clip
that New Caledonia is now "in the situation of a grave epidemic."

April 30, 2003

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