Dengue bites again in Pukapuka

Wednesday September 09, 2020 Written by Published in Health

Pukapuka residents are being urged to continue eradicating mosquito breeding and resting sites after another confirmed type two dengue case on the island. 

Te Marae Ora’s dengue report has revealed there is a second dengue serotype two virus case (DenV-2) on Pukapuka.

There have been 373 probable and confirmed cases reported in Cook Islands between February last year and September 2 this year, with eight of those cases in the Pa Enua.

Te Marae Ora health ministry spokesperson Jaewynn McKay last night confirmed the second dengue cases on Pukapuka was detected last month.

McKay said they are waiting for the blood test results from New Zealand on the probable cases on the northern group island.

There were nine probable cases on the island late last month, according to Pukapuka nursing officer Tohoa Cummings. Blood samples were tested locally so those diagnosed could have the option of self-care without the need of being admitted to the hospital.

The first case of the mosquito-borne disease on Pukapuka was reported in July, and it was said to have been introduced in May by some of the 13 residents returning to the islands, by boat or plane.

The ministry said at the time, perifocal spraying was implemented by public health staff following risk assessments at the infected person’s residence. Public health staff remained on alert.

Furthermore, the report showed that cases of the dengue virus have decreased with the Operation Namu clean ups and the vector control programme in place on Rarotonga.

A similar vector control programme is also in place for Aitutaki and Pukapuka. Aitutaki had three confirmed dengue type 1 and two confirmed dengue type 2 cases with a probable case.

Te Marae Ora’s key message is to remove mosquito breeding and resting sites.

So far this month there have been no cases reported on Rarotonga.

The Ministry recommends that those travelling to the Pa Enua ring Tupapa Clinic for a medical clearance prior to travel.

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