22 Dec 2016

Cooks health officials identifying mosquito sites

7:00 am on 22 December 2016

Cook Islands health officials are concerned about a potential rise in mosquito breeding sites following recent heavy rainfall.

They say the Cook Islands is currently free of mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika which are present in some neighbouring countries.

But a programme has been identifying properties with a variety of waste, animals present, and overflowing septic tanks, where mosquitoes could breed.

Tutaka programme co-ordinator Charlie Ave said the next step is to spray the sites as a precaution against the spread of disease.

"At the moment because we have been through heavy rainfall we are anticipating there will be increasing mosquito population. But it doesn't mean we will be having dengue, chikungunya and Zika outbreak," he said.

Mr Ave said people coming into the country are also being monitored to ensure they don not bring the diseases into the Cook Islands.