Zika Virus – Spread Update
The following update was compiled using excerpts from various articles found on: http://medicalxpress.com/
On February 9: BARBADOS
Barbados confirmed three cases of Zika in pregnant women, bringing to seven the number of people on the Caribbean island with the virus, which is believed to be linked to birth defects. The women will be given specialized obstetric care, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. The new cases were announced on the Barbados government information services Facebook page.
“The situation is still evolving and information is being updated regularly,” the Ministry of Health said.
The World Health Organization has declared a global medical emergency to combat Zika and individual countries and regions are beginning to mobilize. With no cure or vaccine for the virus, some countries have taken the extraordinary step of urging women to delay getting pregnant.
According to the Pan-American Health Organization, 26 countries have confirmed cases, spanning 7,000 kilometers (4,400 miles) from Mexico to Paraguay.
Colombia issued an alert over the Zika virus, which has already infected 13,800 people in the country, as it warned that the number is likely to uptick as the disease spreads. The Ministry of Health advised mayors of towns below a certain elevation to “declare a green alert for public and private hospitals facing a possible increase in Zika cases.”
All municipalities located below 2,200 meters (7,200 feet) were urged to issue an alert, the ministry said in a statement.
“This warning is issued because the Zika infection is currently in an expansion phase,” said Luis Fernando Correa, head of the ministry’s Office of Emergency Management and Disaster.
Colombia, which has been hit the hardest by the disease after Brazil, expects to have more than 600,000 cases in 2016.
As of January 16 there have been a total of 13,808 confirmed cases in Colombia, which includes 890 pregnant women, plus an additional 2,611 suspected cases.
On January 26: PUERTO RICO
The mosquito-borne Zika virus has now been found in 19 people in Puerto Rico, although none were pregnant women, the group most at risk, the island’s health secretary said.
“An infected person must have come, who infected a population of mosquitos, which in turn infected a local population, permitting the spread of the disease,” Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary Ana Rius said.
She reported that 18 new cases of the Zika virus have been detected in the US possession, raising the total to 19 since the Caribbean island’s first case was confirmed last month.
On January 22: U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
The U.S. Virgin Islands is reporting its first case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Authorities said Friday that the patient is a 42-year-old woman who lives on the island of St. Croix and has not traveled recently.
Haiti’s health ministry said Friday the country has been hit by an outbreak of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne ailment similar to dengue fever that is rapidly spreading through the Caribbean.
Health Minister Florence Duperval Guillaume confirmed the outbreak at a press conference, saying that she too, was recovering from a bout of the illness.
“Even I fell ill,” the minister said, although she did not have the diagnosis confirmed by testing.
A health lab in Trinidad and Tobago confirmed on Thursday that five out of 11 Haitian blood samples tested positive for the disease—a finding suggesting that it could be rampant in this impoverished nation.
It is only a matter of time before we get reports on this virus in T&T. Let’s be vigilant and be prepared. I recommend this device: Electronic Indoor Insect Killer