High Risk Persons Urged to be Extra Vigilant against Zikv

Photo: Melroy Sterling Supervisory Commitee Member for the City of Kingston (COK) Sodality Co-Operative Credit Union, Arnold Breakenridge (left), in discussion with Principal Finance Officer, Ministry of Health, Michael Maragh (centre) and Bishop Everton Thomas of the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, at the credit union’s 2016 Blast-Off function, held at its head office on Slipe Road, Kingston, on January 20. The annual staff development event seeks to invigorate staff for the new year.

Story Highlights

  • The Health Ministry is urging persons at high risk for contracting the Zika virus (ZikV), to be extra vigilant in protecting themselves.
  • The Ministry is continuing its campaign to educate the public about the virus, which it warns will reach Jamaica’s shores and has placed the country on high alert for the vector borne disease that is spreading across the Caribbean.
  • The virus has been confirmed in 19 countries in the Americas, including Barbados, Brazil, Columbia, Panama and Haiti.

The Health Ministry is urging persons at high risk for contracting the Zika virus (ZikV), to be extra vigilant in protecting themselves.

Among the vulnerable groups are women in an advanced stage of pregnancy, infants, the elderly, persons with non communicable diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis and cancer; persons with sickle cell or a compromised immune system.

The Ministry is continuing its campaign to educate the public about the virus, which it warns will reach Jamaica’s shores and has placed the country on high alert for the vector borne disease that is spreading across the Caribbean.

Principal Finance Officer, Ministry of Health, Michael Maragh, who addressed some 300 members, volunteers and staff of the City of Kingston (COK) Sodality Co-Operative Credit Union on January 20, in Kingston, encouraged them to play their part to minimize the impact of the Zika virus on the population.

“The Ministry of Health cannot do it alone, so we are calling on communities, church and school administrators, businesses and householders to band together to help to rid their communities of mosquito breeding sites,” he said.

Mr. Maragh was deputising for Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley, at COK Sodality’s 2016 Blast-Off function, held at its head office on Slipe Road. The annual staff development event seeks to invigorate staff for the New Year.

Among the measures  the public should take to eliminate mosquito breeding sites are:  check premises weekly for water filled containers; cover containers, such as drums; get rid of  old appliances to prevent water collection; scrub flower vases and water containers for pets, weekly; clear debris from roof gutters to prevent water from settling; and repair leaking pipes and outside faucets.

The Zika virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Symptoms include fever, conjunctivitis, joint and muscle pains, headache, swelling in the lower limbs, weakness and rashes.

The virus has been confirmed in 19 countries in the Americas, including Barbados, Brazil, Columbia, Panama and Haiti.

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