8 Jan 2004

Outbreak of dengue fever in Tonga

11:39 am on 8 January 2004

Health authorities in Tonga have declared an epidemic of dengue fever, a disease which is borne by mosquitoes.

A 74 year old man in the Nuku'alofa area has been confirmed as having haemorrhagic dengue fever,, and another person, described only as a foreigner, is suspected to have the virus.

Health officials say an epidemic has been declared because there is an unusually large number of cases.

An outbreak of dengue fever in Tonga last year killed 6 people, who were mostly children under the age of 10.