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

 


Global and regional rise of diseases spread by mosquitoes

Global and regional rise of diseases spread by mosquitoes

Monday 7 April 2014, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Noumea, New Caledonia –

The Pacific is currently experiencing a growing epidemic of diseases spread by mosquitoes. The global concern for these diseases is highlighted today, World Health Day; this year’s theme is vector-borne diseases.

More than half the world’s population is at risk from diseases spread by vectors (mosquitoes, ticks or flies).

In the Pacific, 21 documented outbreaks of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes have been reported by 12 countries and territories during the past 15 months: 15 outbreaks of dengue, three of chikungunya and three of Zika fever.

‘Thousands of people have already been affected by this epidemic wave in the region and we estimate that the risk of further spread is high and could last for some years at the regional level,’ says Dr Yvan Souarès, Acting Director of the Public Health Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

‘A number of factors support this assessment: the low immunity of the population; the mosquitoes capable of carrying the virus being present in most parts of the region; and the high mobility of the population, especially through airline travel, which facilitates the spread of the diseases.’

There are measures that governments and communities can take to reduce the risks and protect people from infection, such as strengthening mosquito control, disease surveillance, laboratory testing, and prevention and response systems.

‘Considerable work has been done and progress has been made in these directions by countries and regional agencies over the last decades under the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network, but a lot more needs to be done to face the current unprecedented situation,’ added Dr Souarès.

‘We need to learn from our neighbouring regions, particularly the Indian Ocean region, that have had similar experiences over the past ten years. For example, a large chikungunya outbreak spread from 2004 to 2007, infecting a third of the population of La Reunion Island and costing more than € 60 million.’

‘We don’t want to see a similar crisis in our Pacific region. We will continue to support countries' efforts to respond to the current situation as best we can.’

On an individual level, all Pacific Islanders can take measures to avoid contracting and spreading these diseases by protecting themselves from mosquito bites while staying in or travelling to countries where the viruses are circulating.

A map showing the current epidemics and virus circulation in the region is attached to the media release and it is also available on the SPC website.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news