An outbreak of dengue fever in the Solomon Islands has killed three people, infected hundreds more and is straining the medical system of the South Pacific island nation.
Health authorities in the Solomons and Australia said Tuesday that at least 1,700 people are suspected to have contracted the disease since the outbreak began in February.
Australia and New Zealand are sending medical staff to assist. Australia will lead the team of nine doctors, nurses and public health experts. A second team of 10 remains on standby to deploy there if necessary.
Dengue fever is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue. It's typically found in urban areas in tropical and subtropical climates.