20 Jun 2007

A dengue related death in American Samoa puts locals on alert

6:31 pm on 20 June 2007

A 20-year-old who died after being admitted to the LBJ Hospital in American Samoa in the advanced stages of dengue fever has raised alarm bells not only within the territory's Health Department but also local communities.

The death, according to a department of health report, is believed to be the first from dengue in several years.

There are 29 confirmed cases, and the Health Department has stepped up its awareness programmes.

However, our correspondent in Pago Pago Monica Miller says while messages have been ignored in the past, the death has brought reality home.

"There really hasn't been that much of an effort by the public to follow the there suggestions but with the death that has just been reported I think the people are now paying attention to the health awareness campaign"

The Deparment of Health also warns if the situation is not nipped in the bud now, it will reach epidemic proportions.