Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2006 06:16:14 +0200 (METDST) WELLINGTON, June 2, 2006 (AFP) - A new generator will be flown to the tiny South Pacific state of Niue from New Zealand on Saturday after a fire earlier this week left the island without power. Tuesday night's fire badly damaged the island diesel electricity generating plant, leaving the population of fewer than 2,000 people without power. Emergency generators have allowed some essential services to keep going but there were fears water could run out, because the supply relies on electric pumps. A spokeswoman for the New Zealand government aid organisation NZAid said a New Zealand Air Force Hercules aircraft was due to transport a new generator on Saturday along with other equipment and technical staff. "How long it will take to restore the power, nobody knows at this stage," she said. Acting Niue premier Fisa Pihigia told Radio New Zealand that emergency generators were supplying limited power to the hospital, airport, broadcasting services, telecommunications, and banks. Niue, which lies 2,485 km (1,544 miles) northeast of Auckland, is self governing in free association with New Zealand.
Date: Wed, 31 May 2006 02:32:44 +0200 (METDST) WELLINGTON, May 31, 2006 (AFP) - A fire has left the tiny South Pacific state of Niue without power, a report said Wednesday. A fire late Tuesday at a diesel generating plant resulted in power being lost all over the island, which is home to fewer than 2,000 people, Radio New Zealand said. The most pressing problem was the water supply, which relies on electric pumps, Niue's acting premier Fisa Pihigia said. Only one to two days of water remained in reservoirs. New generating equipment will need to be flown into Niue and New Zealand has been asked for help. Niue, which lies 2,485 km (1,544 miles) northeast of Auckland, is self governing in free association with New Zealand. Essential services, including the hospital and airport, have their own emergency generators.
8th January 2004 An entry concerning Niue (natural disaster) was added. Cyclone Heta, with winds reported up to 185 mph/300 kmh, caused heavy damage on the South Pacific island state of Niue on January 6 and 7, 2004. Heta severely affected the capital, Alofi, causing one death, a large number of casualties and considerable property damage across the island. Power and communications have been disrupted and most of the roads are blocked. Travellers should check with their travel agent or tour operator to determine whether the cyclone has affected their travel arrangements, and plan accordingly. Canadians should also monitor local weather reports, avoid disaster areas, and contact the Canadian High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand, should they require assistance. For advice on travel to Niue, see the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade's Travel Report.
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 17:13:48 +1100 From: Yvan Souares Via: Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network [We'd like to thank Dr. Louisa Woonton, Niue's Director of Health for the attached outbreak warning. Following her message we'd like to start a discussion on the issue raised by Dr. Woonton, about the importance of streptococcal serology testing in guiding the subsequent case management of suspected streptococcal pharyngitis. - YS] OUTBREAK WARNING STARTS *********************** Niue is currently experiencing an epidemic of a rheumatic fever type illness and/or a viral illness yet to be identified conclusively. The illness may have started in early June 1998. In late July, two children from the same class at school were referred to New Zealand with sore throat, fever, migrating joint pains and in one case, chorea. the girl with chorea was subsequently confirmed as having acute rheumatic fever while the other child was diagnosed with a viral illness or post streptococcal polyarthralgia. despite efforts to clarify the diagnosis, New Zealand authorities cannot confirm actual diagnosis for the second child. Subsequently, several other children were admitted to the local hospital similar symptoms and signs. The illness affected mostly children under 20 years of age and most presented with sore throat, high fever, joint pains and myalgia in some. Approximately 50% were noticed to have large tonsils and some were inflamed, with pustules present. Joint pains did not constitute arthritis and almost all were arthralgia. Some children had epistaxis but no other signs of bleeding were found. In most cases, the examination was unremarkable and no abnormalities were found in the heart. In most cases, the while cell counts were within normal limits and ESR [erythrocyte sedimentation rate] were elevated to below 100mm per hour in a few cases. In some cases, lymphopenia was present. Throat swabs and blood cultures have so far failed to grow any streptococci. Blood samples have been collected from all symptomatic patients as well as asymptotic children during screening completed in all the villages. Tests for antibodies to streptococci have been requested from Auckland Hospital where 266 first [acute-phase] specimens have been sent. Convalescent-phase sera have not been collected as we are only now in the convalescent phase for most of the people affected. I should point out that the epidemic is now affecting all age groups with an increasing numbers of adults presenting with a respiratory illness. We are preparing to collect viral swabs in addition to standard tests described above. [..] Niue authorities are happy with virology testing on a sample only but would request streptococcal serology testing on all specimens collected thus far so that we can inform families accordingly. Negative serology is extremely useful because there is possibility that the early cases could have been streptococcal pharyngitis with or without acute rheumatic fever. Recent cases are possibly viral in origin. We cannot exclude the possibility of streptococcal pharyngitis/acute rheumatic fever now followed by an epidemic of a viral illness. Naturally, we are concerned not to under-manage children who may have acute rheumatic fever. Your assistance with further information if such cases are present elsewhere in the Pacific. Support for streptococcal serology testing all specimens would be appreciated. Dr Louisa Woonton Director of Health OUTBREAK WARNING STOPS ********************** [With regards to the outbreak's evolving pattern (age, symptoms, time) we agree with Dr. Woonton on the need for further virology testing on a sample of those specimens already taken. Concerning the issue of whether blood specimens that have been taken (from symptomatic and asymptomatic children) should all be serologically tested for the presence of ASO, our opinion is to be considered from a public health efficiency point of view, and according to our (limited) experience of Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) outbreaks. In communities where streptococcal infections may occur endemically, ARF attack rates is usually very low (less than 1%) among untreated pharyngitis cases, even when associated with positive throat culture for group A streptococci AND serological evidence of ASO. Though the literature also suggests that ARF attack rate is sensibly higher (2-3%) among severe clinical forms of streptococcal throat infections supported by bacterial and immunological evidences, about 1/3 of ARF cases occur after asymptomatic streptococcal infection. Therefore, considering the above and the magnitude of the current epidemic(s), the value of the serological testing (for streptococcal antibodies) of all blood samples taken so far appears to be low from a public health point of view, i.e., in order to monitor the risk of occurrence of post-streptococcal syndromes in the affected population. We would rather recommend to raise clinicians' awareness on the early diagnosis and treatment of post-streptococcal syndromes. Having said so, PACNET accounts for much better qualified colleagues on this particular topic. We would like now to hand over the discussion to them. - ProMed Moderators YS/TK] Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 23:08:29 -1100 From: John Adams; Medcen Samoa Via: Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network I read with interest Dr. Louisa Woonton's message on PACNET regarding the outbreak of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) in Niue. I am a consultant in paediatrics and child health in Samoa. My main interests are in public health and rheumatic fever, which is why I have been managing our rheumatic fever program for the last ten years. 1. ARF is a post-strep pharyngitis condition so a pharyngitis occurring simultaneously with fever and migratory arthralgia is extremely unlikely to be acute rheumatic fever. 2. Chorea is definitely a sign of ARF. 3. The ESR in ARF is always elevated - rarely below 80mm/hr. 4. ASO titres, while useful, are expensive and lack specificity and sensitivity for ARF. The limited Pacific medical literature shows that most Pacific island children have high titres anyway (Elliot et al 1984) perhaps because of the high prevalence of streptococcal carriage rates in the throat and skin. 5. While I still do ASO titres as part of a Group A _Streptococcus_ work-up I do not rely on the result to guide our management of sore throats. Our MOH is currently finalising a policy whereby every sore throat in children between the ages of 5 - 15 years is treated with penicillin. While this may seem like overkill, and rather unscientific, our rates of ARF are one of the highest in the world - so we are going for the no-thrills approach! This has been done successfully before - see Paediatrics, May 1989: the Costa Rican experience. 6. I believe the outbreak in Niue is viral in origin - most probably a coxsackievirus or a parainfluenzavirus. 7. For the information of our readers we have just published the results of epidemiological survey looking at the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease and its risk factors in 10,000 school children. Furthermore we also looked at the prevalence of Group A streptococcal pharyngitis and Group A streptococcal pyoderma and the skin and throat carriage rates of Group A _Streptococcus_ (GAS). I believe the GAS that causes proderma is genetically similar to the throat GAS. The Public Health Research Lab in Darwin [Australia] is currently analysing these and it would be very interesting to se what the results are. I will keep you posted. If anyone is interested to discuss this further - drop me a line. -- John Adams e-mail: medcen@SAMOA.NET
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 1998 14:48:50 -0000 From: World Health Organisation Via: Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network Dr. Louisa Woonton, Niue, has advised that group A _Streptococcus_ has been identified in 15-20% of the specimens tested on patients with symptoms of the above illness. The second child referred to New Zealand, like the first child, has chorea. The first child with chorea was subsequently diagnosed as having acute rheumatic fever.
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