18 Nov 2011

CDC official says dengue fever cases in Marshall Islands capital dropping

10:08 am on 18 November 2011

The number of dengue fever cases appears to be dropping off in the Marshall Islands, capital, Majuro.

The US Centers for Disease Control, Dr Tyler Sharp, says there is no good way to predict, but it looks like we are on the downside of the outbreak.

He says the peak number of cases found was on the 31st of October for Majuro, and the number of patients coming to Majuro Hospital for treatment has continued to decline since.

But the concern now has shifted to the spread of dengue to Ebeye Island, the overcrowded urban center next to the Kwajalein missile testing range, and two outer islands.

Dengue fever cases were confirmed on Ebeye and Utrik Atoll as of Wednesday this week.

Dr Sharp heads a CDC team that has been in the Marshall Islands for two weeks assisting the Ministry of Health respond to the dengue fever problem.

He says new cases continue to show up at Majuro Hospital and he expects that will last a few more weeks.

A total of 751 people with dengue-type symptoms have been checked at Majuro Hospital through Wednesday this week, with 391 being confirmed as having dengue fever.