14 Feb 2008

New Caledonia faces rising incidence of dengue

8:21 pm on 14 February 2008

The number of people infected with dengue fever has doubled in the past two weeks in New Caledonia.

Officials have confirmed seventeen new cases in January this year, but our Noumea correspondent, Claudine Wery, reports more people have since been diagnosed.

"We're in a pre-epidemic phase according to the local authorities. But the number of people infected by that virus that is 30 now and has doubled in two weeks between the end of January and now. There's a conjunction of several factors here, which makes the situation worrying. It's the presence of the virus here and also the presence and proliferation of the mosquitoes and also the hot and very wet weather."

Claudine Wery says residents are being told they should get rid of water containers around their housees, and wear insect repellent.

Dengue claimed 17 lives in New Caledonia five years ago.