25 May 2004

Scientists examine Cook Islands lagoon

4:09 pm on 25 May 2004

Scientists are examining water and air tests as they go on investigating the source of health problems at a Cook Islands lagoon .

Doctors, Charles Eason and Virginia Hope are talking to scientists at the Cawthron Institute in New Zealand after carrying out surveys of Titikaveka lagoon on Rarotonga.

They interviewed local residents who had complained of sore eyes and throats and visited some of the so-called hot spots of health problems.

The scientists met about a dozen residents of the Titikaveka resort last Friday.

The chairman of the Tourism Cooperation Board, Don Beer Junior, says the scientists were able to leave the residents with the understanding there's unlikely to be a quick answer.

"While initially the residents were obviously pretty disturbed, in terms of the inability to basically get down to this problem, I think being professionals themselves and been in similar positions before, I think after a while, they did say that the residents were very co-operative in their discussions with them."

Don Beer Junior's expecting the science team to report preliminary results of the tests to the Cook Islands government within two weeks.