12 Feb 2016

No Zika in Cooks, but plenty of precautions

7:11 pm on 12 February 2016

A leading Cook Islands health official says the country remains a safe haven from the mosquito borne Zika virus, but there is no room for complacency.

Zika is affecting Samoa, American Samoa and in Tonga the government has declared an epidemic after reports hundreds could be infected with the virus.

The Cooks community health services director, Dr Neti Herman, says there are no suspected cases of the virus in the country, but a proactive approach is needed to ensure this continues.

She says they are using media to get their message across and are continuing with border control measures and encouraging people to eliminate mosquito breeding sites.

Dr Herman told the Cook Islands News the health ministry is considering reactivating Operation Namu, which was a nationwide campaign in 2002 to fight dengue by clearing mosquito breeding and resting sites.

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