The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has just launched a new web-based interactive map showing current epidemic and emerging disease alerts in the Pacific region.
Deputy Director of SPC’s Public Health Division Dr Yvan Souarès said this new website has been developed to keep health professionals better informed and ensure they are better prepared to help protect the health of Pacific and international communities from epidemic and emerging diseases like chikungunya.
‘Since last year the Pacific has suffered from an unprecedented epidemic wave of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes – including dengue, zika and chikungunya – and it continues,’ said Dr Souarès.
‘Several epidemics of measles are also currently occurring in the region.’
This new website provides an overview of the most up to date information on the circulation of epidemic and emerging diseases in the Pacific.
Feedback from Pacific health professionals in the region, who saw the first prototype of this new website, has been very positive. Their comments indicated that they see it as a very useful tool for their daily practice of public health surveillance, preparedness and response to epidemics.
The web interface allows users to visualise the epidemics and alerts in different ways, i.e. by country, disease, type of transmission and over recent time.
Future developments will provide more descriptive and technical information on actual situations, and ultimately on historical data.