JIS News

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  • Zika virus is presently confirmed in fifteen (15) countries in the Region of the Americas. They are Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Martinique, French Guiana, Honduras, Guyana and Venezuela
  • The Minister says everyone must be even more vigilant at this time and take steps in their environment to reduce the breeding of mosquitoes. All churches, schools, communities and households must take the necessary steps to reduce breeding
  • Individuals, especially pregnant women, 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.

Minister of Health, Hon. Horace Dalley says given that the zika virus has been confirmed in Haiti, the Ministry of Health has heightened its alert and will further scale up its vector control activities starting this weekend.

The Ministry has so far investigated twelve (12) suspected cases of the zika virus and all have returned negative results on the samples. The samples, which were sent to the only approved confirmatory lab in the Region – the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) – included eleven (11) Jamaicans and one (1) foreign national who traveled from Latin America to Jamaica.

Zika virus is presently confirmed in fifteen (15) countries in the Region of the Americas. They are Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Martinique, French Guiana, Honduras, Guyana and Venezuela.

Minister Dalley says given Jamaica’s relationship with Haiti and other countries where the zika virus has been confirmed such as Panama the threat of spread to Jamaica is real and imminent.

“Every day we have people go to and from Haiti both legally and illegally so the threat is real. Zika is also in Panama and we have 12 flights weekly from Jamaica to Panama. Zika is an imminent threat and it’s only a matter of time before we find a positive case,” Minister Dalley said.

Minister Dalley says despite efforts the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and their breeding sites is still high in several communities across the island. In the coming days the Ministry will publish the names of communities with high levels of Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding.

The Minister says everyone must be even more vigilant at this time and take steps in their environment to reduce the breeding of mosquitoes. All churches, schools, communities and households must take the necessary steps to reduce breeding.

Persons can destroy mosquito breeding sites by looking for anything around the home, school, churches and business places that may collect water and either cover it, keep it dry or dispose of it. Repair leaking pipes and outdoor faucets, cut the grass short and trim shrubbery, clear roof gutters and eaves to prevent water from settling and fill in and drain any low places in the yard such as areas where there are usually puddles when it rains.

Individuals, especially pregnant women, 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.

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