7 Jun 2013

American Samoans reassured amid coronavirus fears

1:52 pm on 7 June 2013

Health officials in American Samoa have assured residents that the government is keeping a close watch on the coronavirus, which has mainly affected the Middle East but not spread to the Pacific.

The comments come after concerns that local media had been needlessly alarming people about the threat from the virus.

The Health Department director, Motusa Tuileama Nua, says his department is working closely with the LBJ Medical Center as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organisation in monitoring the flu-like virus.

An epidemiologist, Sharmain Mageo, says they monitor anyone admitted with different types of flu systems and who have recently travelled to the affected areas.

"We do have a surveillance system in place and we're glad that we're so far away that we're not affected. There is no concern. We would be concerned if the virus hit New Zealand, Australia, then that would be a big concern for us here."

Sharmain Mageo says they will let the people of American Samoa know about any developments