Date: Mon 24 Nov 2014
Source: Radio New Zealand [edited]
<http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/260135/chikungunya-in-all-of-samoa>

Tuliau Dr Seine Vaai-Nielsen says there are now more than 2500 confirmed cases [of chikungunya virus infection], not counting the unreported ones.  The Ministry of Health is calling on all sector partners to assist with raising awareness campaigns on chikungunya prevention, especially as it's now the rainy season in Samoa.

Our correspondent Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says chikungunya is now in all districts in Samoa. "The Ministry of Health has released the latest figures and also more advisories for the public to continue the safety measures [against] the chikungunya [virus], because the number of people affected from October to November [2014] has increased to 259, and the total so far [since] July [2014] according to Ministry of Health figures, is over 2500 people with chikungunya [virus infections]."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says the Ministry of Health is calling on the public to be more vigilant against the mosquito borne disease.
================
[The chikungunya outbreak continues to grow in Samoa, from 269 cases reported on 25 Aug 2014, to 433 reported on 8 Sep 2014, then to 626 cases on 20 Sep 2014, and now to an estimated 2500, with cases reported throughout Samoa. Vigilance alone will not halt the outbreak. The Ministry of Health and the public will need to cooperate in the elimination of the breeding sites of the vector mosquitoes.

A map showing the location of Samoa in the Pacific Ocean can be accessed at
<http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/oceania/wsnewz.gif>,
and a HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/2>. - ProMED Mod.TY]
Date: Mon 8 Sep 2014
Source: Radio New Zealand [edited]
<http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/pacific/254051/samoa-chikungunya-numbers-still-climbing

There have been 433 cases of chikungunya in Samoa over the past month. The Ministry of Health's latest figures show that since 21 Aug [2014], 239 females and 194 males have contracted the disease at a rate of 2.3 per thousand people. The Samoa Government is carrying out control measures by spraying in public places, wharves, and airports, to eradicate mosquito breeding places.
-------------------------------------------
Communicated by:
Roland Hubner
Superior Health Council
Brussels
Belgium
roland.hubner@sante.belgique.be
===================================
[The chikungunya outbreak continues to grow, from 269 cases reported on 25 Aug 2014 to the 433 reported above. One hopes that a prompt and aggressive clean up of breeding sites will reduce the vector mosquito population enough to halt, or at least reduce, transmission.

The 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States (<http://www.sids2014.org>) was held from 1-4 Sep 2014 in Apia, Samoa, and was preceded by activities related to the conference from 28-30 Aug 2014, also in Apia, Samoa. The very brief report above makes no mention of risk to attending delegates, although active virus transmission was occurring at the time.

Not only is there risk of the outbreak adversely affecting the conference, there was subsequent risk of Samoa serving as a focus of infection, with conference delegates becoming infected and taking the virus back to their home countries and initiating transmission there, if vector mosquitoes were present.
Maps showing the location of Samoa in the Pacific Ocean can be accessed at
<http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/oceania/wsnewz.gif> and
at <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/2>. - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Mon 25 Aug 2014
Source: Radio New Zealand [edited]
<http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/252957/samoa-records-269-chikungunya-cases>

The number of people affected by chikungunya [virus infections] in Samoa has increased from 51 to 269 in the last 2 weeks.

The Ministry of Health Director General, Leausa Tole'afoa Dr Take Naseri, says an ongoing clean up and spraying of mosquito breeding sites is continuing with aircraft and ships being sprayed.

He says laboratory tests have shown 2 deaths thought to be caused by chikungunya [virus] were not [due to infection with that virus].

3000 people from around the world are expected in Apia from later this week for a major UN conference, and the Ministry has said it hopes to have the outbreak under control by then.
-------------------------------------------------
Communicated by:
Roland Hubner
Superior Health Council
Brussels
Belgium
roland.hubner@sante.belgique.be
=============================
[This identical story was published in Solomon Star News today (25 Aug 2014,
<http://www.solomonstarnews.com/news/regional/3707-samoa-records-269-chikungunya-cases>), appearing in HealthMap Alerts.

The chikungunya outbreak continues to grow, now with 269 cases reported. One hopes that a prompt and aggressive clean up of breeding sites will reduce the vector mosquito population enough to halt, or at least reduce, transmission. That effort is urgent, given the beginning of a UN conference later in this week. Not only is there risk of the outbreak adversely affecting the conference, there is subsequent risk of Samoa serving as a focus of infection, with conference delegates becoming infected and taking the virus back to their home countries and initiating transmission there, if vector mosquitoes are present. - ProMed Mod.TY]

[The 3rd International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be held from 1-4 September 2014 in Apia, Samoa, to be preceded by activities related to the conference from 28-30 August 2014, also in Apia, Samoa <http://www.sids2014.org>. - ProMed Mod.JW]

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/2>.]
Date: Wed 13 Aus 2014
Source: Radio New Zealand [edited]
http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/252006/almost-100-new-suspected-cases-of-chikungunya-in-samoa

The latest figures from the Samoa Ministry of Health say 8 people have been diagnosed with chikungunya virus after the 1st 20 specimens were sent overseas for tests. The Director General of Health and CEO, Leausa Toleafoa Dr Take Naseri has also confirmed that as of Monday night [11 Aug 2014], 96 new suspected cases of chikungunya virus were reported, with blood samples from the patients being sent for further medical tests. The Director General says a mass cleanup campaign is being planned for areas around Faleata and Vaimauga districts, from where most of the cases in the Apia urban area are reported.
====================
[This is a follow-up to the 1st ever ProMED-mail report of a chikungunya outbreak in Samoa, now with chikungunya virus infections confirmed. Samoa is clearly experiencing an outbreak of chikungunya fever. One hopes that the avoidance of mosquito bites and the elimination of mosquito breeding sites will help to reduce transmission in the coming days.

Maps showing the location of Samoa in the Pacific Ocean can be accessed at
<http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/oceania/wsnewz.gif> and
at <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/2>. - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Sat 26 Jul 2014
Source: Radio New Zealand [edited]
<http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/250678/chikungunya-virus-confirmed-in-american-samoa>

The Health Department in American Samoa says it has confirmed the acute rash outbreak as cases of chikungunya, [infection by] a virus similar to dengue fever [clinically and epidemiologically, but in a different virus family - ProMed Mod.TY].

The 3 samples sent off island for testing have been confirmed as the virus, which are the 1st confirmed cases of chikungunya [virus infection] in American Samoa.

The virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes, with the most common symptoms being fever and joint pain, and other symptoms including headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

The Department of Health's acting medical director, Dr Fuimaono, says they are glad to now know the exact type of illness they are dealing with. "We've been encouraging and we've been informing our community, that this is symptomatic where we treat it with Tylenol and lots of fluid. The bottom line is prevention; so far we have about 100-plus cases; we're happy now that we know what sort of guide that we're going to [with that] confirmation of the chikungunya."

Dr. Fuimaono says they are still awaiting the results of 20 other specimens sent off island, but dengue has been ruled out for most of them.
=======================
[There is no indication in the above report from where and how chikungunya virus arrived in American Samoa and initiated the outbreak. There have been chikungunya virus outbreaks in the Pacific Islands recently this year (2014; see citations below), and it is tempting to speculate that the virus came from one of these islands. Once in American Samoa, spread of the virus is not surprising because it has had dengue virus transmission in the past, and the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue can transmit chikungunya virus as well.

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail showing the location of American Samoa in the Pacific Ocean can be accessed at
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/380>. - ProMed Mod.TY]
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