Health silent on virus spread

Friday May 15, 2015 Written by Published in Health

Cook Islands Public Health Services staff have apparently been barred from talking to the media about the spread of mosquito-borne viruses on Rarotonga.

While anecdotal evidence points to a major increase in the number of island residents suffering from the debilitating virus Chikungunya, sources say Public Health staff have been told they are not allowed to say anything to the news media about the disease, which has varying degrees of severity and can last anything from a week to several months or more.

“The only person who is allowed to talk to the news about it now is the Director of Community Health Services, Dr Neti Herman,” one source said.

After trying unsuccessfully for several days to phone Dr Herman, CI News yesterday emailed her a number of questions about the spread of Chikungunya. However no reply had been received by the time the newspaper went to print.

Chikungunya has left some of Rarotonga’s fittest athletes so ill they have been unable to train. The disease has hit people of all ages and has affected attendance at schools on the island.


  • Comment Link Gerry Mitten Wednesday, 20 May 2015 20:52 posted by Gerry Mitten

    How about enforcing a law where any landowner that has an object ( from a rusting truck to a discarded tyre) that can gather and allow water to go stagnant or allow mossies to breed, be given 24 hours to get rid of it or receive an instant fine. No questions asked.

  • Comment Link Charlie Saturday, 16 May 2015 03:49 posted by Charlie

    How do you best protect yourself? What are the symptoms, and how do you treat the virus?

  • Comment Link Maitland Friday, 15 May 2015 15:28 posted by Maitland

    These are the stats on the NZ website Chikungunya. Cook Islands: reports 66 cases, in the week to 10 May 2015. As of 13 May 2015 there have been 501 cases since November 2014. Outbreak ongoing. Dengue - Cook Islands: About 324 cases since late last year [2014]. Island most affected: Rarotonga. Increasing. These are the May update figures.

  • Comment Link aketekura adams Friday, 15 May 2015 11:31 posted by aketekura adams

    Hi how serious is this virus

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