More details about conditions on Nauru: cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus have been confirmed on Nauru by Australia’s department of immigration and border protection (in a submission to the senate). There are seven asylum seeker and refugee women on Nauru who are currently pregnant.
“Every precaution is being taken to protect transferees against contracting the virus,” the department says. “Insect repellent with higher DEET content has recently been provided to transferees inNauru and Manus for use.”
Detention centre management also undertakes vector control practices, including regular fogging operations and mosquito larvae surveying and monitoring.
Zika virus has spread rapidly, in particular across southern and central American countries, in recent months. Several governments in the Americas have advised women in affected areas not to get pregnant for two years, because of the suspected link between Zika virus and microcephaly, a serious birth defect. At least 4,000 babies have been born with microcephaly, which results in babies having much smaller-than-usual heads, in Brazil alone.