More Top Stories


Bigger and busier 2023: PM

31 December 2022

Other Sports

Double gold for Darts

21 January 2023


Covid-19 cases stable: TMO

10 January 2023


Population policy endorsed

10 January 2023


PM Brown vows to change law

23 January 2023

Rugby league

Moana target 2025 World Cup

11 November 2022


We’re halfway there!

16 November 2022


From the river to the ocean

18 November 2022

Flu outbreak stretching resources

Monday 12 January 2015 | Published in Regional


PAGO PAGO – Hospitals in American Samoa are being inundated with a growing number of patients with influenza and health workers are warning the outbreak is taking a toll on health professionals.

In the past three weeks, there have been around a thousand cases recorded – with patients reportedly waiting for hours to be seen by health officials.

An epidemiologist with the Department of Health, Scott Anesi, says their threshold is just 110 cases a week – but in the last week of December, they recorded as many as 400.

“We definitely are above our threshold. It seems like our peak is starting to shift to the lower regions, rather than continuing its upswing. But we’re only accounting for individuals that seek treatment.

“We have been running active media campaigns as far as self treatment and personal hygiene, prevention, precautions,things like that.

“It seems like we have been able to stifled the upsurge but its a bit early to tell.”

He says the territory’s one hospital has been inundated with people seeking advice and treatment.

He says they are triaging arrivals to try to categorise those who need urgent attention and those who can be advised to medicate themselves at home.

He says there can be up to a four-hour wait to see a doctor at the hospital.

“We’re also trying to spread out care and treatment to the health clinics around the islands as we only have one hospital.

“We’re definitely being inundated. The outbreak is definitely taking its toll. At the same time we’re trying to prevent our workforce from getting sick. Within the past three weeks we’ve seen 1000 people affected by the flu and a lot of those are people in the health services.

“We’re trying to triage using awareness campaigns to make sure those that do seek treatment in the emergency rooms are those that need it the most.”

Anesis says the Department of Education is being very proactive as schools have reopened after the seasonal break.

“We definitely made an appeal to parents that if their children are sick, to please make them remain at home.

“Inside the school grounds the Department of Education is being very active in monitoring children that do come to school sick, sending them home and making sure the parents are aware that the flu is definitely going around.”