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Virus outbreak

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  • Ian Turner
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7126563.stm Virus-hit island seeks urgent aid Britons living in what is described as the remotest community in the world are
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 4, 2007
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      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7126563.stm

      Virus-hit island seeks urgent aid

      Britons living in what is described as the remotest community in the
      world are seeking help after the outbreak of an acute virus.

      Many of the 271 British citizens living on the volcanic island of
      Tristan da Cunha, in the south Atlantic, have developed severe
      breathing problems.

      They need to ensure that their current medical supplies do not run out.

      An international operation to provide help is being led by the Foreign
      and Commonwealth Office.

      BBC world affairs correspondent Mike Wooldridge said the islanders
      were being affected by what appears to be an outbreak of
      viral-inducted asthma, which causes severe breathing problems.

      Tristan da Cunha's one resident doctor, a South African, has issued an
      appeal for medical supplies.

      The South African Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre was alerted first
      and informed British coastguards.

      The volcanic island has no airstrip, making getting medicines there
      difficult.

      However, merchant ships in the area are unlikely to have the necessary
      drugs on board and a coastguard spokesman said there were no British
      military vessels nearby at present.

      Viruses have swept through the island before but Michael Swales,
      chairman of the Tristan da Cunha association, said he could not recall
      medicines becoming exhausted on previous occasions.

      He said there was particular concern about the health of the elderly
      and the very young.

      Isolated

      Tristan da Cunha is situated 2,800 km west of Cape Town, South Africa,
      and is part of a small group of islands.

      It was at one time on the main trading route between Europe and the
      Indian Ocean, but the small community living there is now extremely
      isolated.

      The community of 275 people describe themselves as living in the
      world's most isolated settlement.

      The island is famous for a mass evacuation to Southampton in the 1960s
      after a volcano erupted.

      The main island is about 38 sq miles (98 sq km) and the currency is
      the British pound.
    • Simon Pipe
      SOURCE: BBC RADIO CORNWALL Britons living in what has been described as the remotest community in the world are seeking help after the outbreak of an acute
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 4, 2007
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        SOURCE: BBC RADIO CORNWALL

        Britons living in what has been described as the remotest community in the world are seeking help after the outbreak of an acute virus. Many of the 271 British citizens living on the volcanic island of Tristan da Cunha, in the south Atlantic, have developed severe breathing problems. Rosemary Glass, who lives on Tristan Da Cunha, told BBC Radio Cornwall what was happening:

        "It's a very bad virus going around that's making people chesty-like, and it's hard for them to breathe, especially the older people and the younger children, and a few of the older people are in hospital but I think they've run out of medication for, you know, to help them, like oxygen and nebulisers and inhalers and such things like that."

         

        Mrs Glass said that facilities on Tristan da Cunha were very limited for treating such a widespread outbreak:

        "At the moment there are three (patients) in hospital and our hospital is not (an) enormous hospital, because sometimes it may be two or three years before you ever get a patient in, and so there's only about four beds, so if they're all taken the other ones have to stay in bed at home."

         

        You might also be interested in a report on asthma among Tristanians:

        http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/153/6/1902

         

         

        Simon


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