23 May 2014

Cause of American Samoa dysentery still unknown

12:48 pm on 23 May 2014

The dysentery outbreak in American Samoa is still leaving health agencies unsure of the source, as 26 people recover from bouts of stomach pains and fever.

The Acting Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga was briefed by Department of Health staff, as well as representatives from the LBJ hospital, the power company and the environmental protection agency, who have started to test the water in the government system.

The ASPA Executive Director, Utu Abe Malae, says they visited 17 homes and took tap water samples, and 16 returned with no sign of the bacteria that causes the illness.

He says the one home that did return a positive sample relied on a village water supply.

Those affected by dysentery are spread around Tutuila and are not concentrated in any particular area.

Residents are being urged to maintain high sanitary living conditions and to use only approved water sources, especially in Asalele and parts of Iliili to Leloaloa.