Pacific syndromic surveillance report

Week 14, ending 6th April, 2014

The following syndromes have been flagged:

  • Acute fever and rash: Palau
  • Influenza-like Illness: Palau, Fiji, New Caledonia
  • Prolonged fever: Fiji, New Caledonia
  • Diarrhoea: Solomon Islands

Other updates

Chikungunya

  • An outbreak of Chikungunya has been reported in the Kingdom of Tonga. For further details please refer to Dr Siale Akoula’s PacNet posting on Wednesday 9 April, 2014
  • The mosquito species Aedes albopictus, a highly efficient vector for Chikungunya, has recently been detected in the Kingdom of Tonga. Distribution of Aedes albopictus (Diptera, Culicidae) in southwestern Pacific countries, with a first report from the Kingdom of Tonga. Guillaumot L, Ofanoa R, Swillen L et al. Parasit Vectors. 2012 Nov 6;5:247.

Chicken die off-Influenza-like illness

  • An Influenza like-illness outbreak continues in Palau. Of the 50 human samples sent for confirmatory testing in reference lab in Hawaii, 40 tested positive for Influenza A by Real-Time RT-PCR Assay, of which 36 were subtyped H3. The remaining 4 were inconclusive due to lack of sufficient RNA.
  • The humans and the chickens at the farm (where the chicken die-off was reported) have recovered. The chicken death rate has dropped off almost completely. Results from animal testing are pending.

Dengue

  • Tuvalu is experiencing a dengue outbreak with nine confirmed RDT (NS1) cases out of 43 Dengue-like Illness (DLI) as of 10 April 2014.
  • As of 8 April 2014, Vanuatu reports 1554 dengue cases. Dengue-serotype 3 was identified earlier in the outbreak. It appears that the outbreak is subsiding with the number of cases decreasing over the past three weeks.
  • French Polynesia is currently facing a dengue epidemic. As of 4 April 2014 the total number of positive cases of dengue reported since February 2013 is 1,906. In the month of March 2014, all cases serotyped were dengue serotype-1 and the rate of hospitalisation and severe cases had increased.
  • As of 4 April 2014 there have been 186 cases of dengue in New Caledonia since 1 September 2013.

Zika virus

  • New Caledonia – As of 8 April, 2014 there have been 659 confirmed cases of zika virus since 25 November 2013.
  • Since early October, 2013 8,700 suspected cases of zika were reported by health professionals sentinel network in French Polynesia.
  • Cook Islands- As of 6 April 2014 there have been 900 dengue-like illness since 23 February 2014. Zika virus has recently been identified in samples sent to the Louis Malarde Institute, French Polynesia.

Conjunctivitis

  • An outbreak of conjunctivitis is occurring in American Samoa and has led to the closure of schools.

Severe flooding

  • Heavy rain from a tropical depression caused severe flooding in the capital Honiara and Guadalcanal Province (GP) in Solomon Islands. Multiple rivers burst their bank washing away houses and affecting an estimated 10,000 and 40,000 people in Honiara and GP respectively. There are approximately 10,000 displaced persons in evacuation centres in Honiara and an unknown number in GP.
  • WHO are supporting the Ministry of Health and Medical Services with epidemic risk assessment and implementation of an early warning surveillance system for the rapid detection and response to outbreak-prone diseases in the post-disaster setting.
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