World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Pacific: Concern over epidemics transmitted by mosquitoes

Epidemics transmitted by mosquitoes – a cause of concern in the Pacific

Thursday 23 January 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia –

The first locally-acquired case of Zika virus infection that was detected in New Caledonia on Friday (17 January 2014) represents a new epidemic threat to the territory and the Pacific region, which is already affected by several epidemics of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.

'We are concerned about the increase in the frequency and variety of epidemics of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes in the region over the years. They threaten more and more the health security of the Pacific populations and the world,' says Dr Yvan Souarès, Deputy Director of the Public Health Division at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

In 2012, the four serotypes of dengue fever virus (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4) were circulating in the region for the first time in a given calendar year.

Last year (2013) was marked by an unprecedented number and variety of epidemics of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes: eleven dengue epidemics of three different serotypes, three chikungunya epidemics and one Zika virus epidemic were recorded in the Pacific region.

SPC’s Public Health Division closely monitors such situations in collaboration with regional partners from the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network, and assists Pacific Island countries and territories in their efforts to reinforce the surveillance and response to these epidemics.

‘Though the Zika virus is known for widely circulating in Africa and Asia, the Pacific is the only region in the world to have a documented epidemic of this virus,’ added Dr Souarès.

The Zika virus first emerged in the Pacific in 2007 in Yap (Federated States of Micronesia). This was the first Zika virus epidemic detected and described in a timely fashion.

It re-emerged in the region in French Polynesia on the epidemic mode last year and it has now reached New Caledonia. There is a high risk that this disease could rapidly spread across New Caledonia and the region and affect a large number of people.

Epidemics of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes spread increasingly quickly with the amount of air traffic and weather variations (rising temperatures and modified rainfall patterns) we are experiencing these days.

The Zika virus disease is caused by a flavivirus of the same family as the dengue viruses, and it is transmitted by mosquito bites. The best way to avoid these diseases is by protecting yourself against mosquito bites and destroying mosquito breeding sites.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news