20 Jan 2016

Zika triggers new concerns

5:34 pm on 20 January 2016

A Secretariat of the Pacific Community medical expert says the region should be on aware of the possible links of the zika virus to foetal malformation.


Photo: 123rf

A study is being done by the French Polynesia Ministry of Health, after it reported a higher than usual number of malformed babies following the zika outbreak in 2013 to 2014

During this outbreak, about half the population was feared to have contracted the mosquito-borne virus.

Salanieta Saketa, from the SPC's Public Health Surveillance network, says eight Pacific countries reported outbreaks of zika.

Dr Saketa says it first emerged in the region in the Federated States of Micronesia in 2007.

"We have actually been in communication with countries who have reported cases of zika. None of them at this stage have confirmed any increase in number of babies born with malformations that may be related to zika but of course they are [still] looking in to the information and finding out if there have been any cases."