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Flu outbreak in Tonga claims lives of three children

Tonga CEO of the Ministry of Health
Source: RNZ Pacific

Nuku'alofa, TONGA — Three children in Tonga who died from viral pneumonia caused by Influenza B were aged 1, 3 and 13.

CEO of the Ministry of Health, Dr Siale 'Akau'ola, told Matangi Tonga the outbreak of influenza-like illnesses has been going on in Tonga for the last eight-to-nine weeks.

He said incidences have been monitored at 10 surveillance sites throughout Tonga, and a trend of new cases appeared to have peaked on week eight of the outbreak, with an average of 30 cases per day.

The number of cases for last week, week nine of the outbreak, appeared to show an 18-percent reduction, but he warns these numbers are likely to be under-estimated.