Outbreak Hits World's Most Remote Island

Viral asthma affecting 275-person UK territory in South Atlantic
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2007 2:18 PM CST
The 275 residents of the remote volcanic Tristan da Cunha, in the south Atlantic, are in need of medical supplies for a rare viral outbreak.   (Wikimedia Commons)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A severe viral asthma is wreaking havoc on Tristan da Cunha, a volcanic island 1,700 miles off the coast of South Africa described as the world's most remote community, the BBC reports. Many of the island's 275 residents are having trouble breathing; medical supplies are dwindling in the South Atlantic community, which has no airstrip.

The disease is afflicting mainly the elderly and young children, taxing the island's one-doctor, four-bed hospital. "It makes people chesty and it's hard for them to breathe," one resident told BBC Radio Cornwall. A spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office said it was still working on plans to get medical supplies to the island ahead of the next scheduled delivery.