4 May 2010

PNG officials investigate three deaths in Port Moresby amid fears of cholera epidemic

8:51 am on 4 May 2010

The Governor of Papua New Guinea's National Capital District says medical officers are assessing whether the deaths of three people from cholera in Port Moresby last week are part of a generalised epidemic.

Local officials are trying to prevent further spread of cholera after the deaths of the three men from the coastal village communities, Hanuabada and Lealea.

Governor Powes Parkop says two families from the villages and those suspected of being infected have been isolated.

It is one of the urgent steps taken by one of the local taskforces set up in PNG to respond to potential epidemics after last year's deadly cholera outbreak in northern provinces.

"We haven't reached the conclusion yet that it's a general outbreak. At this time our clinical units are working on this. They will brief me today or tomorrow and we will have some idea whether it remains a localised outbreak or if it's a general outbreak. I would like to believe that it's a local incident only that we have contained and can overcome."