WHO CONCERNED ABOUT RISE OF DENGUE IN PACIFIC

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Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, New Caledonia among hot spots

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Aug. 10, 2008) – The World Health Organisation says it’s seriously concerned about the increase in dengue cases in the region.

The potentially deadly dengue virus is transmitted through day biting mosquitoes.

A regional representative, Dr Kevin Palmer, says Samoa is in the midst of a dengue outbreak with the number of people continuously rising.

Samoa had confirmed six cases in the six months to June, but there have been 13 new clinical cases in July.

Dr Palmer says Kiribati has also reported more than 300 cases in the past three months, while Tonga is also experiencing a surge in the number of people affected.

In New Caledonia, about 900 people have been diagnosed with the virus since the beginning of the year.

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