Local Transmission of Zika now at 9 Cases

Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, has made public the latest information on the transmission of the Zika virus within the Cayman Islands."Since the last update of Thursday, 25 August 2016, 14 additional results have been received from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA); five of which returned positive,” Dr. Williams-Rodriguez said. “Four females, all local residents of George Town, have no reported travel history to any of the countries where there is currently an outbreak of the Zika virus, thus bringing local transmission of the Zika virus within the Cayman Islands to nine cases.“Additionally, there is one confirmed imported case, a female from George Town who travelled to a country during 27 July to 1 August where there is an established outbreak of the Zika virus. She reported an onset of symptoms which began on 11 August when she visited the Cayman Islands Hospital. The total number of laboratory diagnosed imported cases is therefore now at seven. None of the five patients are related and neither are they pregnant.”On the international scene, the World Health Organization (WHO) has updated its interim guidance on the prevention of sexual transmission of Zika. For regions with active transmission of Zika virus, WHO recommends that sexually active men and women be correctly counselled and offered a full range of contraceptive methods to be able to make an informed choice about whether, and when, to become pregnant in order to prevent possible adverse pregnancy and foetal outcomes. For regions without active transmission of Zika virus, WHO also recommends practising safe sex or considering abstinence for a period of six months for men and women who are returning from areas of active transmission.For more advice on mosquito control, contact the Mosquito Research and Control Unit on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2223 on Cayman Brac; and Department of Environmental Health (DEH) on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.For further information on Zika, please contact the Public Health Department at 244-2648 or 244-2621. Interim recommendations for prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus Based on growing evidence that the Zika virus can be sexually transmitted, WHO recommends the following:



All individuals while travellingCondom use is recommended whilst visiting an area with active Zika virus transmission .All people (male and female) with Zika Infection with sexual partner (particularly pregnant women )Receive information about the risk of sexual transmission of Zika virusMen and womenGet counselling on safe sexual practices including non-penetrative sex, reducing the number of sexual partners and postponing sexual debut. The consistent and correct use of condoms is essential to prevent sexually transmitted infection, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and unwanted pregnancy.Sexually active men and womenTo be correctly counselled and offered a full range of contraceptive methods to be able to make an informed choice about whether and when to become pregnant, in order to prevent adverse pregnancy and foetal outcomes.Women who have had unprotected sex and do not wish to become pregnant due to concerns regarding Zika virus infectionHave ready access to emergency contraceptive services and counsellingPregnant WomenShould practise safe sex or abstain from sexual activity for at least the whole duration of the pregnancy. Their partners should also be informed about this recommendation.Advice on preventing sexual transmission of Zika virus is precautionary and is constantly under review as more information becomes available.Source: World Health Organization (WHO). Sidebar: Symptoms of Zika Virus Zika virus usually causes mild illness. Symptoms most commonly include a slight fever or rash, appearing a few days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Although many will not develop any symptoms at all, others may also suffer from conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, and feel tired. There is no known difference in the symptoms of infected pregnant and non-pregnant women.Source: World Health Organization