Chikungunya Virus Spreading Rapidly In Pacific Islands

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First detected 4 years ago, half of Pacific now affected

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 26, 2015) – The chikungunya virus is now found in half of the Pacific and is expected to spread further in the region and around the world.

That is the view of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community whose experts have been monitoring the emerging disease in collaboration with bodies such as the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network.

Chikungunya was first detected in the region four years ago and the SPC's Dr Yvan Souares says, as anticipated, it has spread rapidly.

He says their expectation is that it will continue to spread for some years due to a number of factors, such as the low immunity of the highly mobile populations, the presence of mosquitoes and the often poor resources for combatting them.

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