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Zika virus

The ‘new’ fear and concern for the Rio Olympics

The mosquito that spreads Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.

Zika virus has headlined in the news (January 2016) and it’s being blamed for spreading Microcephaly, a birth defect occurring in thousands of newborn children particularly in Brazil. Although Zika virus is not a killer, it provokes an emotional reaction because the associated spread of Microcephaly affects our ability to reproduce.

“While zika seems to be spreading in the wild, it is also a registered – patented organism that can be purchased by almost anyone, so why has the issue of patent ownership of the Zika virus not been the object of media

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Dengue Fever

A Disease in what should be paradise

The dengue carrying mosquito bites during the day.

Dengue is a relatively new mosquito-borne viral disease endemic to more than 120 countries throughout Latin America, the Pacific and Asia. It is spreading rapidly and you need to be aware as you travel. It is also spreading in the USA.

Nicknamed breakbone fever, dengue can be extremely painful and debilitating flu-like illness that can lead to life-threatening complications such as dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). The disease is caused by four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus. Infection provides lifelong immunity against the infecting sterotype but not the other three and there is now some possibility of

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Vavau

The last few weeks have been spent in the Ha’apai Group of islands. Here we spent lots of time in the water trying to keep cool. Snorkelling, yes I have started doing a little bit. By the end of the voyage I will be an expert, not. Steve and Mike went crayfish hunting but came back empty handed. After Mike left Steve actually speared one (sorry Mike) but managed to let it get away.

The local transport problem meant Mike had to catch the local ferry back to Nukualofa to catch the plane. The small local plane had a wheel problem landing in Nukualofa and it must be the only one so there were no internal flights available at all.

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Tongan Trip

This would have to be one of the world’s most beautiful places. With water in every shade of blue imaginable, brilliant lush green vegetation and beautiful white sandy beaches, it is hard to imagine anything better. Captain Cook was right when he named these the friendly islands, even though the local chiefs were planning to kill him at the time. We found the locals to be very friendly and happy to meet us.

With over 700 islands it is not hard to find an uninhabited one to call your own for a while. You can imagine being a castaway, living on fish and coconuts. The Haapai Group of Islands is the most unspoilt area with less people than the other

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Neiafu

We are in Neiafu Harbour for a couple of days. Neiafu is the main town of the Vavau Group. It is a place which caters well for low budget travellers. We found Tip Top jellytip ice creams for T$1. We will probably go back for more. The town has a nice atmosphere, much more so than Nuku’alofa in the south. Not as many pigs roaming around the streets though there are some. We have found the Tongan people extremely friendly and helpful.

Steve took Recluse in a yacht race around the harbour last night. He rounded up some crew, a coule of young Nz’ers and John the rally organiser. There was very little wind so the race took a while

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Tonga

A French administered territory

Tongan girls by Polynesian Beauty

The South Pacific’s only Kingdom, Tonga is also the only island nation in the region to have avoided formal colonisation and therefore may have preserved a little more of its indigenous spirit than other island nations. Most Tongans live on the main island of Tongatapu with an increasing number now living in the only urban and commercial centre of Nukuʻalofa.

Only 3-4 hours flight time from Auckland, Tonga offers unique experiences for visitors. Some say the snorkelling and diving are far superior than most Pacific Islands and the arrival of the southern humpback whales between June to November to give birth to their young are the most popular

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