Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

No Danger of Travel to Chuuk Despite Confirmed MDR TB Report

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): August 6, 2008 - As of July 2008, five Multidrug Resistance Tuberculosis (MDR TB) patients were confirmed in Chuuk and four have passed away including a two-year old child before the required medications were available for the treatment, according to a report from the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs.

It was also confirmed that the reported cases of TB in Chuuk has been increasing over the past three years from sixty (60) per one-hundred thousands (100,000) per year in 2006 to one hundred in 2007 and one-hundred seventy projected for 2008.

The FSM National Department of Health and Social Affairs has secured assistance from the following offices:

  • Confirmatory laboratory in Hawaii and genotype laboratory in California with expert consultants. All these are being arranged and funded by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC).

  • Potential available funding through the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA).

  • Directly Observe Therapy (DOT) training plan through SPC to begin next month.

  • World Health Organization (WHO) is alerted for assistance with the International Health Regulations and travel advisory recommendations.

Therefore, the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs wishes to announce to the General Public that there is NO danger of travelers from outside Chuuk becoming infected with MDR TB by traveling to Chuuk. This is because, in order for a traveler to be at risk for getting infected, they must spend a long period of time in a closed (unventilated) space with an infectious patient.

For example, a traveler would have to go to the patient's village and sleep in the same room with the patient, usually for many nights.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356