14 Jan 2015

Flu outbreak in American Samoa regressing

8:41 am on 14 January 2015

The American Samoa Department of Health says a large media campaign and the end of the Christmas holidays has helped address an influenza outbreak.

Epidemiologist Scott Anesi says hundreds of people in the territory had contracted the virus peaking at 400 new cases for the last week of the year.

However Mr Anesi says with people leaving after the holidays and better practices being put in place around the home, the problem has eased, although it remains over the action threshold of 100.

"We're definitely pushing the massive media campaign and public awareness to try and sell good self-treating at home, proper hygiene practices and targeting our paediatric and geriatric population just for monitoring symptoms to try and stem the flow at the ER. Now we are roughly seeing two times our threshold. 212 for the week ending January 11."

11 people were hospitalised over the holiday break.