30 Apr 2007

Hopes in Fiji that typhoid and leptospirosis under control

6:42 pm on 30 April 2007

Fiji authorities are hopeful a public health campaign has helped overcome outbreaks of typhoid and leptospirosis, which have claimed four lives.

Dr Josaia Samuela from the Fiji Health Ministry says he is hopeful the number of people infected with typhoid had now peaked, with another 32 confirmed cases, raising the total to 109, including two deaths.

Two other deaths have been attributed to leptospirosis, which is now affected 50 people across the country.

Dr Samuela says a public health campaign warning people of the dangers of sharing kava had helped fight the outbreak.

He says remote villages were also warned of the importance of properly disposing of human waste, which can sometimes be dumped into rivers.

Cyclone Cliff, which tore through Fiji's second-largest island Vanua Levu on April 4 and affected water supplies, had been blamed for worsening the outbreaks.

Dr Samuela says it is too early to be certain whether that the outbreaks have been contained.

He says staff are happy with the control measures taken but it would take another three or four weeks because of the incubation period for infection.