25 Mar 2014

Severe flu in Tonga, not measles as suspected

10:49 am on 25 March 2014

The Tongan Ministry of Health says the fever and rash symptoms affecting hundreds of people there is a severe flu, and not a measles outbreak as suspected.

A medical officer at Vaiola Hospital in Nuku'alofa, Viliami Vao, says blood test results were returned from Auckland Hospital yesterday, which all tested negative for measles, zika or dengue.

Dr Vao says it is likely the flu virus came from Tahiti or the Cook Islands.

He is calling on the public to be cautious when in crowds to avoid spreading the illness further.