Flu outbreak in Marshalls' capital stresses health services
2:31 pm on 5 December 2019
By Giff Johnson

As dengue fever in Majuro declined this past week to fewer than 10 cases daily for the first time since mid-October, an outbreak of flu has hit the capital city, stressing already taxed hospital services.

Hospital officials said with the dual dengue and flu outbreaks, they are running through medical supplies at double the usual rate and have sought donor help with looming shortages of IV saline fluid bags and other supplies.

Team Rubicon, a United States-based medical emergency response group, flew in the first team of nurses last week to assist Majuro hospital meet the demand for services, with two more teams of doctors and nurses from the US scheduled to arrive in Majuro over the coming weeks.

All the beds at the hospital have been full, with the hospital putting patients on cots and in doctor offices for lack of inpatient space to accommodate the number of patients seeking treatment on a daily basis, said Health Secretary Jack Niedenthal.

"We had 230 people come to the emergency room over three days," said Mr Niedenthal. "One doctor saw 65 patients in the outpatient clinic this week."

Mr Niedenthal described the hospital as looking like "a war zone" and added they are dealing with the dual concern for providing needed health services for patients as well as taking care of the health of health workers, many of whom are overwhelmed having been working long hours for months because of the dengue and now flu situations...