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INFLUENZA AT ISLANDS

OUTBREAK AT TONGA.

MANY DEATHS REPORTED.

J A correspondent writing from Nukua- i J lofa on December 2 last stated that in-1 fluenza was raging at the island of j Tongatabu, in the Tongan Group. The disease first spread throughout Nukualofa, ! the capital, and adjacent towns, and then ; reached the country districts. There was hardly a home 'n Nukualofa which wis 1 not affected by the disease, and the ab-1 fence of medical men and skilled nursing ; added to the seriousness of the position, , As no help oould be called up, the Consul j 1 considered it necessary to send a boat to i Fiji, and the Queen's yacht, the Onelua, > left on November 25 for Suva, carrying j despatches for the High Commissioner. It was anticipated that some help would be 1 forthcoming from that quarter, and it was j hoped that one or two additional medical • men and a couple of nurees would shortly! be available. Owing to the great number of cases reported, and the many deaths which had occurred in the course of the first few days, the position became alarming. and in order to alleviate the distress and to prevent a panic, Mr. Islay McOwan, the British Consul in Tonga, immediately took the matter in hrjd and i organised a party of European workers, I with a view to checking the epidemic, j Nurse Baker, of Haapai, who fortunately I was on a visit, readily offered her services, I and, with assistants, wai quickly at work I on a round of visits. Working night and j day, Miss Baker did most excellent work. I Mr. D'Alpuget, a commercial traveller j from Sydney, undertook the work of dis-' pensing and* the supply of medicines. A j dispensary was established in the centre 1 of the town, and throughout each day for : many days the chief dispenser and his I assistants had an exceptionally busy tim% ' in supplying medicines and disinfectants to Europeans and to the great number of ; natives, who came from all parts to pro- ] cure medical supplies for themselves, and also for those who were unable to come ; into town. In addition to the central dispensary good service was rendered by the ; heads of the various churches in Tonga, j and fortunate it was that the missions car- i ried supplies, for the calls upon them vere ; many. At the time of writing, the number of deaths was not known, but they were estimated at several hundred ur. the island of Tongatabu alone. Many prominent natives had died, the most notable being the • Dowager Queen Takibo, who waa but 25 years of aee. Her husband, the late King ( George Tubou 11., died in April last. The reigning Queen Salote Tubou and the ! Royul Family were well. Of the Euro- < peans, the following deaths are recoiled : Mrs. J. B. Watkin, wife of the Rev. J. B. 1 Watkin, -resident of the Free Church of Tonca; Miss Jennie Mathews, latterly of 1 Rewa, Fi ; i: Rev. Father Reiter and Rev. j ; Father Kervejan, both of the French j 1 Catholic Mission. i l POSITION AT FIJI. i SUVA'S HEAVY DEATH ROLL. < News from Suva dated December 9 is ] to the effect that the epidemic had been < responsible for about 500 deaths in Suva i and district. The death rate for the 1 Islands was estimated at over 1990, but | ( the actual number will never be known. r. 5 the authorities were compelled to relax ' 1 the usual regulations governing burials, owing to the impossibility of coping with thi« work, which necessitated the interring of thirty and forty a day while the i epidemic was at its height. The European population had done I excellent work in assisting Ito cope with thi disease, and temporary hospitals had ' been established. At the time of writing i it was considered that the worst was over i as far as Suva itself was concerned, but i in the country distriv \s the disease had i only commenced to spread. , ■ i MARKED IMPROVEMENT. A. and N.Z. SUVA, Dec. 23. : Suva is now practically clean, there ! being no fresh cases. In the country dis- ' tricts the epidemic is diminishing rapidly. ' The total European deaths number 68.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZH19181230.2.36

Bibliographic details

New Zealand Herald, New Zealand Herald, Volume LV, Issue 17045, 30 December 1918

Word Count
707

INFLUENZA AT ISLANDS New Zealand Herald, Volume LV, Issue 17045, 30 December 1918

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