20 Nov 2014

Chikungunya claims two lives in Tahiti

4:36 pm on 20 November 2014

Two people have died of chikungunya in French Polynesia as a result of an outbreak that began five weeks ago.

Local media report more than 8,000 people have contracted the mosquito-borne disease since the epidemic began and nearly 200 have been hospitalised.

Pregnant women, young children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases are particularly vulnerable to the illness.

Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, can cause fever, severe joint and muscle pain, headaches, nausea, fatigue and a rash.

Health authorities are warning people to protect themselves from mosquitoes with insect repellent.