Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Virus worries for idyllic island honeymoon

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Cases of Zika virus have been reported in Samoa. Photo/file
Cases of Zika virus have been reported in Samoa. Photo/file

My fiance and I chose Samoa for our honeymoon.

I had been to Fiji, we had both been to Vanuatu and it looked as if Samoa would fit in with our budget and what we wanted.

All we could think about was sand, sun, swimming in a big blue ocean and blissing out for a couple of weeks. Heaven.

But I didn't expect the Zika virus.

The World Health Organisation has declared the Zika virus a public health emergency since its explosion of cases. In Brazil it has been linked to thousands of birth defects in new-born babies. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have listed Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga as areas within the Pacific which have the virus. In the past 24 hours 25 suspected cases of Zika have been brought to the attention of authorities in American Samoa. Learning this, I immediately cancelled our flights to Samoa and re-booked another island getaway for after our April wedding.

If we did go and I did happen to get bitten by a Zika-infected mosquito - we would not be able to have children for the next two years in fear of passing on the virus to our unborn child.

After reading about children born in South America, especially Brazil - no thanks.

I would not risk anything that would affect a baby with us wanting to start a family straight away. In an already stressful time planning the wedding, coupled with a high-paced job, this was the last thing we needed to throw into the mix. Ruth Keber

- Bay of Plenty Times

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