29 Jan 2011

Two dead from leptospirosis outbreak in New Caledonia

11:22 am on 29 January 2011

Two people have died in New Caledonia over the past few days as a result of a post-cyclone outbreak of leptospirosis, a disease transmitted by animal urine.

Oceania Flash reports that the two victims are a seventeen-year-old male and a fifty-seven-year old woman, who could not be saved after they belatedly sought medical attention.

Five others with similar symptoms are also still in intensive care at the Nouméa general hospital.

Fifteen new cases of leptospirosis have been reported since the beginning of January 2011, most of them in the wake of Cyclone Vania two weeks ago.

This has prompted New Caledonia's department of public health to activate a medical vigilance plan, usually applied in times of epidemics.

The plan involves a particular focus on public education and awareness about preventative measures people can adopt.