Extra NZ aid possible for Tonga's Zika outbreak

  • 09/02/2016
Extra NZ aid possible for Tonga's Zika outbreak

The New Zealand government is looking at providing extra aid to Tonga to help stop the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in the Pacific.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the Government is in formal talks with Tonga at the moment about the support it provides.

He's asked New Zealand officials to find out what help Tonga needs to get the spread of Zika under control.

The Australian government last week announced up to $A500,000 ($NZ534,245) of aid for Tonga and other Pacific countries in response to the Zika outbreak.

The latest Ministry of Health data shows there have been 10 confirmed cases of Zika in New Zealand this year.

All 10 people were infected while travelling in the Pacific, four in Samoa, five in Tonga and one in American Samoa.

Zika most often only causes a mild illness, though it has been linked to microcephaly, a neurological disorder in which infants are born with undersized heads.