25 Feb 2016

Cooks civil service to clear potential Zika sites

8:14 am on 25 February 2016

All Cook Islands public servants will be released from work this Friday to clean up potential mosquito breeding grounds in a bid to prevent Zika from reaching the country.

The clean-up efforts, called Operation Namu, have been organised by the Ministry of Health.

zika mosquito

Photo: 123RF

Its director of Public Health, Neti Herman, says the clean-up would be carried out in 10 different constituencies in Rarotonga led by MPs and traditional leaders.

"We put a submission through to cabinet and we are so grateful that cabinet has approved for a whole day releasing public servants to work with our communities, our traditional leaders, out MPs, in cleaning and trying to get rid of all the mosquito breeding sites and resting places.

Neti Herman says the Cook Islands has no recorded cases of Zika.

She says blood samples of patients showing some symptoms have been sent to Tahiti for testing, but it is unlikely they are suffering from the virus.

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