20 Aug 2010

Officials in PNG try to find out more about disease which has killed 13

3:21 pm on 20 August 2010

In Papua New Guinea, a medical team has been sent to investigate an

outbreak of an unidentified disease that has claimed 13 lives in a remote area of Western Province.

The deaths, reported two weeks ago to authorities, are in the Murray Valley area which borders three provinces and consists of eight villages with a total population of 3,000.

The governor of Western Province, Dr Bob Danaya, says medical services are scarce, phone coverage is next to nothing and the area can only be accessed by foot.

Dr Danaya says his team on the ground is working quickly to get answers.

"I think the medical team is basically trying to gather information as soon as possible and report back to us over the weekend, so that we will know exactly what the cause of the problem is so that we can take additional remedial measures that need to take place as soon as possible to prevent further deaths occurring."

Dr Bob Danaya says he does not know the ages of those who died.