Cooks celebrations blamed for rise in pneumonia

A rapid rise in the number of pneumonia cases in the Cook Islands has been attributed to the country's recent Te Maeva Nui celebrations.

The Chief Medical Officer, Bernard Fouke, says there has been a number of people living in close proximity with different populations, which was the most likely reason for the surge in illness.

Dr Fouke told the Cook Islands News that hundreds of people have been struck by illness, but that few of them are sick enough to require hospital treatment.

He says the increase in illness was anticipated and well handled by authorities on Rarotonga.