28 Jan 2016

No confirmed Pacific zika cases this year - SPC

3:18 pm on 28 January 2016

The Pacific Community says according to information available to it, no Pacific country has reported confirmed cases of the zika virus infection so far this year.

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Photo: AFP

The SPC said further investigation was underway to ascertain circulation of the virus in a number of Pacific Island countries and territories.

Concern has been raised about the possible link between the virus and congenital malformations in new-born babies, following reports about such cases in Brazil.

The SPC said zika virus infection could only be confirmed by a laboratory diagnosis, and the Pacific Islands overall had very limited capacity for such testing.

Dr Salanieta Saketa said SPC was working closely with partners from the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network to overcome this challenge and facilitate access of all countries to the few laboratories who can perform the testing.

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