A large outbreak of shigellosis commencing in an internally displaced population, Papua New Guinea, 2013

Authors

  • Edwin Benny Morobe Provincial Hospital, Lae, Papua New Guinea
  • Kelly Mesere Morobe Provincial Hospital, Lae, Papua New Guinea
  • Boris I Pavlin World Health Organization, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Logan Yakam Bulolo District Health Services, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Rebecca Ford Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Papua New Guinea
  • Mition Yoannes Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Papua New Guinea
  • Debbie Kisa Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Papua New Guinea
  • Mohammad Abdad Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Papua New Guinea
  • Linchon Menda Angua Hospital, Lae, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea
  • Andrew R Greenhill Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Papua New Guinea; School of Applied and Biomedical Services, Federation University, Churchill, Victoria, Australia
  • Paul F Horwood Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroka, Papua New Guinea

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5365/wpsar.2014.5.2.003

Abstract

Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate a large outbreak of shigellosis in Papua New Guinea that began in a camp for internally displaced persons before spreading throughout the general community.

Methods: Outbreak mitigation strategies were implemented in the affected area to curtail the spread of the disease. Data were collected from the surveillance system and analysed by time, place and person. Rectal swab samples were tested by standard culture methods and real-time polymerase chain reaction to determine the etiology of the outbreak.

Results: Laboratory analysis at two independent institutions established that the outbreak was caused by Shigella sp., with one strain further characterized as Shigella flexneri serotype 2. Approximately 1200 suspected cases of shigellosis were reported in a two-month period from two townships in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea. The outbreak resulted in at least five deaths, all in young children.

Discussion: This outbreak of shigellosis highlights the threat of enteric diseases to vulnerable populations such as internally displaced persons in Papua New Guinea, as has been observed in other global settings.

Published

15-09-2014

How to Cite

Benny, E., Mesere, K., Pavlin, B. I., Yakam, L., Ford, R., Yoannes, M., Kisa, D., Abdad, M., Menda, L., Greenhill, A. R., & Horwood, P. F. (2014). A large outbreak of shigellosis commencing in an internally displaced population, Papua New Guinea, 2013. Western Pacific Surveillance and Response, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.5365/wpsar.2014.5.2.003

Issue

Section

Original Research