22 Oct 2011

Marshall Islands health officials confirm dengue fever outbreak

8:16 am on 22 October 2011

An outbreak of dengue fever was confirmed by health authorities in the Marshall Islands.

The Health Secretary, Justina Langidrik, says three people have been diagnosed with dengue fever, the first such outbreak of its kind.

The Public Health's, Dr Kennar Briand, went on national radio last night to warn the public about the outbreak, and preventive measures that can be taken to prevent the mosquito-borne illness.

Public Health officials in Majuro also say they have alerted islands neighboring the Marshall Islands to the outbreak.

Dengue has plagued many islands in the region, but this is a first for Majuro.

Dr Briand says all three patients were sick enough to warrant hospital admission.

He also says tests confirmed that all three have had long-term exposure to dengue.

He says that suggests that dengue has been around in Majuro for quite some time, but the recent laboratory tests have only just confirmed the diagnosis.

Ministry of Health and Environmental Protection Authority officials met yesterday to discuss strategies for reducing the threat of additional infections.