On Friday, November 13, we told you of the five confirmed cases of the ZIKA virus found in a territory of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). That announcement came from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) that made the find last Monday. Today, the Ministry of Health issued a press release, reiterating the same information whilst advising local residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites, destroying breeding sites for the mosquitos including stagnant waters in yards, drains, old tires and other containers that may be conducive for the mosquitos. Love News spoke with Kim Bautista of the Vector Control Unit, who spoke to us on the Ministry of Health’s alertness on the issue.
Bautista also told us that their campaigns on preventative measures remain the same.
The Zika virus has been detected in Brazil and the Dominican Republic and is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is also the insect vector for dengue and chikungunya. The symptoms are also very similar to these diseases and include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea, and rash. There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika and symptoms last approximately four to seven days. Complications are rare and no deaths due to Zika have ever been recorded. This is the first time Zika has been detected in a CARICOM territory.