4 Jul 2011

New Caledonia steps up efforts to contain chikungunya

3:09 pm on 4 July 2011

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community says efforts to stop the spread of the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya in New Caledonia have intensified.

Health Authorities confirmed the territory's first case of the disease in February this year when a traveller from Indonesia was diagnosed after feeling sick on his return home.

An epidemiologist and team leader for surveillance and operational research at the SPC, Simon Reid, says stronger than usual methods are being implemented to contain the spread of the disease.

"Whenever there is a suspect case then the environmental health officers investigate the area looking for mosquito breeding sites. They begin adult insecticide spraying to kill adults. And there's also a intensification of communication activities in the local area."

Simon Reid says up until June 29th, New Caledonia has had 33 confirmed cases of chikungunya.