19 Aug 2009

Cooks boost pandemic preparedness

3:45 pm on 19 August 2009

The Cook Islands Community Health Service is boosting its pandemic preparation as it prepares for more than 3,000 extra visitors for the Pacific Mini Games next month.

Dr Josephine Herman Director of Community Health says the World Youth Netball Championships currently being held are a good test of services, which have been coping well with assistance from the local Red Cross.

Dr Herman says she had a teleconference yesterday with other Pacific health leaders about pandemic plans for the Mini Games.

"O ne of the initiatives that we have been proposing and discussing with WHO will be about bringing in more public health doctors so that should surge capacity be required on the ground we will be ready."

Dr Herman says there are currently 38 confirmed cases of swine flu in the Cook Islands and all are being managed in the community.

A 36-year-old New Zealand woman with swine flu influenza A H1N1 and underlying respiratory disease died in Rarotonga last month and a coroner is investigating.