10 September 2014
TheTokelau Health Department have now confirmed that the Chikungunya virus is present in Tokelau.
Ten samples tested positive from the 16 sent to the Unit of Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory in Tahiti, French Polynesia.
Chikungunya was first suspected to occur in Tokelau in early July. Five patients were admitted to hospital with symptoms of the virus. The number has risen to 164 suspected cases throughout all three atolls Atafu, Nukunonu and Fakaofo.
Preventative measures have been in place to ensure that the virus is prevented and eliminated.
Brief report from the Health Department:
“Tokelau has now received laboratory confirmation of having positive chikungunya virus. Ten out of the sixteen samples sent came out positive. From 12 July to 6 September, a total of 164 cases reported from Tokelau. Fakaofo with 131 cases, Atafu 29 cases and Nukunonu only 4 cases. Figure 1 below shows the pattern of the outbreak decreasing. Fakaofo, the most affected site, hasn't reported any new case since 26 August (Figure 2) and Atafu has started to pick up few cases since 1 September. Nukunonu reported only 4 cases within this period.
“The results showed a reduction in the number of new cases reported from Fakaofo and a few cases picking up in Atafu. All communities are encouraged to continue with their preventative measures such as cleaning campaigns and community educational programs. Nukunonu and Fakaofo have completed their community spraying. In Atafu this is yet to be implemented as more chemicals have been ordered from Fiji.”