Zika Virus Update as of 2 March, 2016.
The Acting Medical Officer of Health is advising the public that as of Wednesday 2 March, 2016 there are no reported or confirmed cases of Zika virus in the Cayman Islands.
“While there are no confirmed cases of the Zika virus in the Cayman Islands, the Virus continues to expand. There are 41 countries including 31 in South and Central America and the Caribbean reporting active Zika virus transmission. These consitute locally-acquired cases reported within the last nine months,” said Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez.
The Public Health Department and other local stakeholders remain steadfast in their efforts to ensure continued education and rapid containment should the virus be introduced.
Meanwhile, an updated travel advice for pregnant women is currently in effect. Pregnant women are advised to postpone non-essential travel to areas where there is active Zika virus transmission.
“If travel is highly essential and cannot be postponed, pregnant women should be aware of the possible associated risks with the Zika virus,” said Dr. Williams-Rodriguez. “Women who are pregnant should discuss travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess the risk of infection with ZIK-V and receive advice on protection from being bitten by the Aedes aegypti; the mosquito that carries the virus.”
MRCU Director, Dr. William Petrie confirmed his department is continuing to be proactive saying, “MRCU’s contingency plan is ongoing, in preparation for the possible arrival of the Zika virus to the Cayman Islands. “Weather conditions have required the department to alter the plan somewhat but we have taken the opportunity to survey and monitor the populations of the Aedes aegypti; and we have, over the past three weeks, surveyed a significant amount of yards from West Bay to George Town and are continuing east into the Bodden Town district.”
Dr. Petrie is reminding the public to turn over any items around their properties that may hold water as these are the main breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
For further information contact the Public Health Department on 244-2621 or the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) on 949-2557.
As of Tuesday, 1 March 2016 areas with active Zika virus transmission are as follows:
|Caribbean||Central America||South America||Pacific||Other|
|Aruba||Costa Rica||Bolivia||American Samoa||Cape Verde|
|Dominican Republic||Mexico||French Guiana||Samoa|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Trinidad and Tobago|
|US Virgin Islands|
Source: Public Health Department, England.
Symptoms of the Zika Virus
The symptoms of the Zika Virus are very similar to that of dengue and chikungunya; they include fever, muscle and joint pain, conjunctivitis (pink eye), headache, nausea, and rash. There is no vaccine or treatment; however, symptoms (which last approximately four to seven days) are treatable. To relieve fever and pain associated with the virus, it is recommended that persons drink a lot of fluids and take pain relievers such as Paracetamol. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be avoided to reduce the risk of haemorrhage. Residents are also reminded that the infection may present itself as asymptomatic (showing no symptoms). Symptoms usually appear following an incubation period of three to 12 days after the bite of an infected mosquito, lasting between four to seven days, and are self-limiting. Complications of the infection requiring hospitalisation are rare.
Zika Virus and Sexual Transmission
A number of cases of sexual transmission of Zika Virus have been reported, and in a limited number of cases, the virus has been shown to present in semen. The risk of sexual transmission of Zika Virus is thought to be very low.
Source: Public Health Department.