28 Feb 2011

Chikungunya case confirmed in New Caledonia

12:53 pm on 28 February 2011

Health authorities in New Caledonia have confirmed that the territory has had its first case of the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya.

The health director in Noumea says the individual, whose age and sex has not been disclosed, was carrying the disease on arrival but has since been cured.

Chikungunya is similar to dengue and in 2006 it claimed 250 lives when an epidemic hit about a third of the population of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.

The health director says in three previous cases, people arriving from La Reunion had fallen ill but had no longer been contagious.

The authorities have again advised the public to ensure that breeding places for the mosquitoes are destroyed.