9 Aug 2004

Cook Islands keeping look out for dengue fever

8:16 am on 9 August 2004

Medical authorities in the Cook Islands are monitoring the health of a member of a dance troupe who was suspected of having contracted dengue fever.

Blood tests found the Aitutaki dancer, understood to be a 15-year-old boy, didn't have the disease.

He had just returned from the Arts Festival in Palau where an outbreak of the disease was confirmed.

The Cook Islands Secretary of Health, Vaine Teokotai, says no other member of the troupe has shown symptoms.

"I think it's not only from the Cook Islands perspective, I think from the whole region's perspective, it's good that we maintain a close check on the participants that went off to Palau for the Pacific Arts Festival, to ensure that the dengue don't spread."

Mr Teokotai says dengue can transfer quickly from person to person and air travellers could quickly transfer Palau's outbreak to the whole region.