18 Mar 2013

Solomons dengue claims another life

1:49 pm on 18 March 2013

Another person in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara has died from dengue fever and more than 200 people have been confirmed to have the illness in an outbreak authorities describe as the first major flare-up of the disease.

A state of emergency is in place at the national referral hospital to enable staff to defer all non-emergency patients in favour of those with the Aedes mosquito-borne disease.

The ministry of health's permanent secretary says dengue fever has now killed two people and there are more than 900 suspected to have the illness, which typically causes very high fever and severe headache.

Dr Lester Ross says health authorities are mounting a city-wide clean-up campaign on Wednesday to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds.

"We have 74 people who have been admitted so far. I think on Friday we had about 20, just over 20 cases who were admitted into the national referral hospital."

Dr Lester Ross says four extra clinics - for assessing and stabilising people - have been set up to ease pressure on the hospital.