Zika Virus reaches Caribbean
The Caribbean region is now reporting its first case of the mosquito borne Zika Virus (ZIK-V).
According to curacaochronicle.com, a 12-year-old from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is the very first case to reach the Caribbean’s shores a month after being reported in the South American country of Brazil.
The media house said that the 12-year-old has been hospitalized in a private medical facility.
The Zika virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that transmits Chikungunya and Dengue.
Reports say that the virus is similar to dengue with symptoms that include fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, headache, weakness, rash and swelling of the lower limbs.
After the bite of an infected mosquito, symptoms usually appear following the incubation period of three to 12 days. They last for four to seven days.
No deaths due to the Zika virus have been recorded worldwide to date.
The Zika Virus was first isolated in 1947 in a Rhesus monkey in the Zika Forest, Uganda. It was first isolated in humans in 1952 in Uganda and Tanzania.
Dominican Health authorities have joined their voices with the other regional health organizations to warn citizens to play their part to prevent mosquito breeding and reduce the likelihood of the disease reaching the shores of the island.
A Health Risk Management Task Force has been activated to review and refine management strategies and guidelines which will shape the Ministry’s response in the event of the disease surfaces in Dominica.
Additionally fogging activities has been initiated in areas of high Aedes Aegypti mosquito infestation across the island.