17 Apr 2007

Fiji Northern Division reports growing incidence of typhoid cases

8:57 am on 17 April 2007

One person is dead and thousands more in Fiji's northern division are at risk from typhoid fever after eight more villages and settlements were identified as high risk areas.

Newspaper reports say 17 more cases have been admitted at Labasa Hospital.

Already 64 cases of typhoid, 34 cases of dengue fever and 23 cases of leptospirosis have been reported in the Northern Division, most concentrated in the Natewa Bay and Buca Bay areas between Vanua Levu and the island of Taveuni.

One report says health authorities in Cakaudrove have confirmed all water sources in the area are contaminated and people have been warned to boil all drinking water.

Some schools have been closed and the health ministry has banned all large gatherings to prevent the spread of disease.

The director of Northern Health Services, Dr Ami Chand, says the outbreak is serious because almost half the cases admitted are young children.

Medical teams accompanied by police will visit high risk areas from today to conduct tests and awareness programs.