Ministry of Health Heightens Alert for ZikV

Photo: JIS Photographer Mosquitoes are known to spread diseases including Zika virus infection.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley is calling on Jamaicans to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from the zika virus and other mosquito borne diseases as the Ministry of Health heightens it's response to the spread of Zika in the region and its threat to Jamaica.
  • Minister Dalley is calling on communities, church and school administrators, businesses and householders to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites.
  • Minister Dalley says it is important that persons are proactive and use this period to search their premises to ensure that there are no potential breeding sites for mosquitoes.

Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley is calling on Jamaicans to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from the zika virus and other mosquito borne diseases as the Ministry of Health heightens it’s response to the spread of Zika in the region and its threat to Jamaica.

Read More: Zika Virus Explained

Minister Dalley is calling on communities, church and school administrators, businesses and householders to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites.

“I am urging every Jamaican to band together and help to rid their communities of mosquito breeding sites. If we all take just ten minutes each week to search our premises and get rid of anything in which water can settle and either cover it, keep it dry or dispose of it, that will go a far way in reducing the mosquito population,” Minister Dalley says.

Minister Dalley says it is important that persons are proactive and use this period to search their premises to ensure that there are no potential breeding sites for mosquitoes.

“It is the task of every citizen to get rid of this mosquito. Those who are in the high risk group especially pregnant women need to be particularly vigilant as they are likely to experience severe symptoms if they contract the zika virus,” Minister Dalley cautioned.

Persons should also protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent containing DEET, putting mesh on windows and doors and wearing long sleeved clothing where possible.

The Ministry will be hosting training sessions for over a thousand youth workers who will undertake community interventions across the island including education about the zika virus. There will be a meeting with the Ministry of Local Government and the Parish Councils for them to assist with coordinating zika response activities. The Ministry has also started and will intensify its public education campaign around zika.

Ten (10) countries in the Region of the Americas have reported transmission of the Zika virus. They are Brazil, Chile (Easter Island), Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela.

There have also been reports of a possible link of zika virus infection to Microcephaly which results in an abnormal growth of the brain and stunting of the growth of the head of the foetus arising from infection in the first months of pregnancy.

Read More: Zika Virus Explained

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