Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Cholera cases on Pohnpei still up and down

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): August 2000 - Six people received treatment for suspected cholera yesterday, as the statistics from the Pohnpei State Hospital continue to show treated cases decreasing but in an up and down fashion.

Pohnpei State Hospital Outpatient Department/Emergency Room treated two of the six cases yesterday; four others were admitted to the hospital, according to the statistics report.

These six cases follow a day of 18 people reporting for treatment, 10 of whom had reported to local dispensaries. On August 26 and 27, nine people were treated each day.

In referring to the seesaw rate of incidents reflected in the hospital's statistics, FSM representative on the Pohnpei State Cholera Task Force and Secretary of Health, Education, and Social Affairs Dr. Eliuel Pretrick said people seem to have relaxed in protecting themselves since the lifting of the Emergency Order.

Dr. Pretrick said that a vaccine against cholera was reported to be ready to be shipped from Geneva, Switzerland, August 20, but as yet, no further word has been heard. He said the shipment would be flown to Guam and put on a commercial flight to Pohnpei.

He added that the FSM had offered to ship it on the National Fisheries Corporation flight from Guam to Pohnpei, but authorities in Geneva said they wanted it to stay on a commercial flight.

Dr. Pretrick said that a local news report of the wrong vaccine arriving on Pohnpei was a result of a scheduled arrival of hepatitis B vaccine that came in on a flight people thought would bring in the cholera vaccine.

Dr. Pretrick said people must continue to protect themselves by following good hygienic practices as they did under the Emergency Orders imposed by Pohnpei Governor Johnny David.

The number of people treated for suspected cholera since April 17 now stands at 2,819. Of this figure, 1,432 reported to the OPD/ER; 658 were admitted to the hospital; 688 were treated at local dispensaries, and 41 were treated at a private clinic. The last person reported treated for cholera in a private clinic was June 30.

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