5 Feb 2016

Cook Islands govt steps up Zika fight

5:56 pm on 5 February 2016

The Cook Islands government is considering reactivating what it calls Operation Namu, to ensure the country is safe from the fast spreading Zika virus.

The mosquito-borne virus has been declared a public health emergency of international concern by the World Health Organisation, which has categorised it at the same level of concern as Ebola.

The Cook Islands News reports Community Health Services director Neti Herman has been conducting meetings this week to discuss ways of keeping the virus at bay.

zika mosquito

Photo: 123RF

Dr Herman said the major plan is to destroy the breeding and resting places of mosquitoes.

Although there was an outbreak of Zika virus in 2014 in the Cook Islands, there have been no reported cases this year.

Dr Herman said while re-activating a national operation was in the pipeline, the onus was on people to ensure they did their bit to keep safe.

Operation Namu includes spraying of chemicals and a nationwide cleanup campaign, which were used during a 2002 dengue outbreak.