Marshalls tries to stop zika from spreading to outer islands

2:11 pm on 8 March 2016
zika mosquito

Photo: 123RF

Health authorities in the Marshall Islands are doing all they can to ensure the Zika virus is prevented from spreading to the outer islands.

A 25-year-old in the early stages of pregnancy is confirmed to have contracted Zika in the Marshall Islands in February.

The government responded last week by declaring a state of health emergency to push the country's Zika response into high gear.

Ministry of Health official Francyne Wase-Jacklick said they had set up surveillance sites to check for symptoms that may be linked to Zika.

She said anyone with those symptoms will not be allowed to travel to the outer islands.

"There is little to no resources [on the outer islands], we have health centres but it doesn't provide as much health services as it does in the urban centres. So we are trying to protect our communities in the outer islands, where they are more vulnerable and not much resources are available."

Francyne Wase-Jacklick said they were also focussing on major island wide cleaning, sanitation and vector control.