18 Feb 2016

Tonga confirms 19 Zika cases

8:42 pm on 18 February 2016

Health authorities in Tonga report a total of 19 people have now contracted the Zika virus.

This is from about 900 suspected cases reported so far.

Tests for Zika

Tests for Zika Photo: AFP

Two weeks ago Tonga declared an epidemic after confirming two people had contracted the mosquito-borne virus at that stage, with 265 suspected cases.

The head of the Public Health Division, Dr Reynold 'Ofanoa, told Radio Tonga today that about 900 people had presented themselves at the main hospital fearing they had the virus.

Of the 19 with Zika three are pregnant.

There are also reports from Tonga that some pregnant women have travelled overseas to avoid contracting Zika.

Meanwhile Tonga's campaign to clean up mosquito breeding sites is on hold due to Cyclone Winston.

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