15 Sep 2008

New Caledonia still fearful over dengue

6:15 am on 15 September 2008

Health authorities in New Caledonia are warning people to stay vigilant about dengue fever carrying mosquitoes.

Since the beginning of the year, 990 people have been infected with the disease in the territory, which has had extensive spraying and public awareness campaigns.

There have been only 14 cases in August, but a local doctor, Dr Anne Pfannstiel, says this is unusual and worrying as dengue infections are rare in the cold season.

Dr Pfannstiel says in previous years, there were only 2 or 3 cases per month during that time.

Another fact that worries authorities is that most Pacific countries around New Caledonia have had an outbreak of type four dengue, which hasn't occurred in the territory for the past 30 years.

Dr Pfannstiel says nobody is immune against type four dengue, and she fears a lot of complications if it arrives in New Caledonia.