New Zealand medical staff deployed to Solomon Islands to fight dengue outbreak

New Zealand is to send medical staff to the Solomon Islands to help the Pacific nation battle an outbreak of dengue fever, the New Zealand government announced Tuesday

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said a New Zealand doctor and a nurse would travel to the Solomons to help that government's response to the illness, which has killed three people and resulted in 1,700 suspected cases including 1,200 in the capital, Honiara.

"The outbreak has put considerable strain on the health system -- depleting resources and overwhelming staff," McCully said in a statement.

"The medical staff are from the Ministry of Health and will deploy for an initial period of up to two weeks as part of an Australian-led medical team." Dengue fever is a serious viral disease spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes.