New virus in Pa Enua travel ban: It’s dengue

Thursday April 23, 2020 Written by Published in Health
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of debilitating diseases such as dengue. 17121319 The Aedes aegypti mosquito is responsible for the spread of debilitating diseases such as dengue. 17121319

Travellers to the Pa Enua will undergo dengue checks at the Rarotonga airport.

 

Only Rarotonga and Aitutaki have recorded dengue fever cases and the Ministry of Health wants to ensure other islands remain free of this mosquito-borne illness.

Dr Tereapii Uka, the acting Secretary of Health, said their staff would be at the airport performing health checks before passengers board flights to the Pa Enua. 

If anyone has a high temperature and is known to have recently been diagnosed with dengue, or has symptoms or signs of dengue, they will be asked to change their travel plans.

The Health ministry wishes to contain and eliminate the virus in Rarotonga and asks members of the public who have had dengue within two weeks of proposed travel to the Pa Enua, to stay home until they are fully recovered.

“Information to hand suggests none of the other islands in our country have dengue and we want to keep it that way,” Dr Uka said. “Let’s make the Cook Islands a dengue-free zone.”

In March alone there were 101 confirmed cases of dengue on Rarotonga.

According to Health figures, dengue cases in Rarotonga have increased to 237, while Aitutaki is the only outer island that has about five cases. From January 28, 2019 to April 6 this year, there has been a total of 242 cases, this includes probable cases.

Health has mobilised the community and punas to put into force Operation Namu to clean up mosquito-breeding and resting sites.

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