13 Jul 2015

Concern in Cooks for chikungunya with tourist influx

5:22 pm on 13 July 2015

Health officials in the Cook Islands are concerned an influx of visitors for the country's 50th anniversary celebrations will reignite a chikungunya outbreak that has only just been brought under control.

no caption

Photo: AFP

746 people have been diagnosed with the mosquito-borne in the country this year, with the peak of the outbreak in April when there were 73 cases in one week.

But the Director of Public Health, Dr Neti Herman, says numbers are declining after a massive cleanup operation and education campaign, with only four cases last week.

However, with a lot of people expected to arrive in the country for the celebrations, that could change.

"We are a bit concerned, hence the reason why we've been really advising people to keep the breeding sites clear of mosquitos. We've been working very closely with the Ministry of Tourism, and they've been very active in their support of trying to warn tourists that when they come that they wear protective clothes, and they use repellant."