Hospital staff initially thought it was a form of flu, but her condition deteriorated rapidly and showed signs of what he called “dengue shock syndrome.”
Blood tests pointed to dengue and a sample had been sent to New Zealand for further testing and serotyping.
Telefoni who is from New Zealand died at Vaiola Hospital last Tuesday, 24 January.
She was due to return home today.
There have been 19 other cases of the dengue reported.
Dr ‘Akau’ola told Kaniva News the influx of returning students and visitors to Tonga during the Christmas Holidays had brought in a large pool of dengue viruses which caused the outbreak.
He said most of the other dengue cases had recovered and others were in a stable
condition and expected to recover fully.
He said people are being urged to use insect repellents and mosquito nets to keep mosquitoes away.
“There were a few cases of dengue in Tonga in December 2017, but they were clearly imported cases so the focus then was to contain any outbreak from them,” Dr Akau’ola said.
“We thought we were successful since we had taken similar action throughout 2017 when sporadic import cases of dengue came into the country from other Pacific Island countries.”