Monday, November 22, 2010

Cholera spreads

30 deaths confirmed, 800 villagers affected


THE cholera outbreak on Daru Island has been contained but health officials fear the deadly bacteria is spreading inland, along Western’s Fly River villages, The National reports.

Health Department officials said 30 villagers had died from cholera on Daru while more than 800 Daru people had been diagnosed with the disease.

They said three medical teams were patrolling south bank villages to identify the sick and treat them as well as conducting awareness.

The disease spread to Daru from an outbreak that was first reported in September last year in Morobe.

The World Health Organisation and Australian aid agency, AusAID, have been flying in medical supplies and emergency experts from Port Moresby since cholera was first reported on Nov 11.

Last Friday and Saturday, AusAID airlifted more than 3,000kg of medical supplies with pledges of more from Australian foreign affairs minister Kevin Rudd.

WHO representative in Daru Geoffrey Clark said the cholera outbreak on the island was under control with efforts now focused on reducing its spread on the mainland because of the movement of people from the affected areas along the Fly River.

Australia has restricted all cross-border travel under the free movement provisions of the Torres Strait Treaty, in consultation with PNG authorities.


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