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Dengue infections in visitors

Monday November 04, 2019 Written by Published in Health
Health officials Continue with the block (area/village) spraying to prevent the spread of dengue.  14030402 Health officials Continue with the block (area/village) spraying to prevent the spread of dengue. 14030402

Two tourists visiting the country from French Polynesia have been confirmed to have been diagnosed with the dengue type 2 (DENV – 2) virus.


This was confirmed by LabPlus New Zealand and according to a report by the Ministry of Health, they were alerted by the travel agent of the travellers prior to their arrival to Rarotonga last month.

Health secretary Dr Aumea Josephine Herman said the two were closely monitored during their stay on the island.

Their plan to visit the outer islands was cancelled. And in a bid to prevent the type two virus from spreading in Rarotonga, Dr Herman said they ensured the visitors were not exposed to mosquito that can spread dengue fever.

She said they were provided with repellents and their place of residence on the island was sprayed. French Polynesia is known to have the type 2 virus while Cook Islands have had cases of DenV-1 or type 1 virus.

Also last weekend, a group arriving from French Polynesia, bound for Atiu island, was met by health officials at the airport for precautionary advises. The health team on Atiu have been notified.

In the month of September 2019, 10 specimens were dispatched to LabPlus New Zealand for sero-typing. Eight have been confirmed DENV-1, one negative, and result for the remainder is still pending.

Aitutaki now have one probable case – a tourist from Rarotonga.

The ministry states that from the beginning of the outbreak, there have been no reported deaths attributed to dengue infection.

Rarotonga’s northern part is still the major hot spot for dengue cases and the ministry says other reported cases, including the news ones, are coming from the eastern part of the island.

Health protection officers within Public Health carried out an aerial block spraying programme last month from Ooa to Pokoinu. These areas are identified as a hotspot for mosquito breeding grounds.

There are 109 dengue cases reported in Rarotonga so far while Aitutaki has four cases. There have been no reported cases from the outer islands.