22 Dec 2014

American Samoa announces extra health precautions

5:17 pm on 22 December 2014

As holiday celebrations come into full swing, health officials in American Samoa are reminding people to continue to take health precautions related to the chikungunya virus.

The territory is still dealing with the presence of chikungunya, with more than 1 thousand suspected cases in the territory, and is currently in flu season.

The health department says there's also a slight rise in cases of 'pink eye'.

Our correspondent, Fili Sagapolutele, says the number of chikungunya cases per week has dropped from 80 to 20, and health officials want to make sure the numbers don't rise during the holiday seaon.

"When they gather for holiday celebration, you're talking about large groups of people, and then you also have people attending church services. There's always going to be a lot of contact with other individuals. And that's the message they want to stress to the community, to take precautions, including hand-washing regularly, use sanitiser, mosquito repellant."

Fili Sagapolutele says the warning also comes as the number of people travelling between the territory and Samoa increases.