27 Oct 2011

Marshall Islands health officials seek emergency declaration over dengue outbreak

8:55 am on 27 October 2011

Marshall Islands health officials asks the national government for an emergency declaration to increase momentum to prevent spread of dengue fever beyond the capital, Majuro.

The Cabinet is expected to declare a state of emergency at its meeting today in response to the outbreak of dengue that has seen 30 confirmed cases of flu-like illness.

The numbers have skyrocketed from the first three announced last Friday by the Ministry of Health in Majuro.

The Health Secretary, Justina Langidrik, says those infected range in age from four to 48 and come from all parts of the capital island.

He says a state of emergency will focus on launching a nationwide mass clean up campaign to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.

The Ministry of Health will also be making recommendations about restricting travel from Majuro to the outer islands to reduce the possibility of spreading dengue to the dozens of remote islands in the country.