JIS News

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  • Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said that several Parish Councils across the island have commenced clean-up activities to get rid of mosquito breeding sites.
  • Minister Falconer noted that while the Government is doing its part in preparing for ZikV, citizens must also play their role by getting rid of breeding sites within their surroundings.
  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalisation is uncommon.

Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said that several Parish Councils across the island have commenced clean-up activities to get rid of mosquito breeding sites.

She informed that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) “did significant clean-up work” over the Christmas holidays and these activities will continue.

The Information Minister was giving an update on Zika virus (ZikV) preparedness activities at yesterday’s (January 20) Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister.

She noted that the Government is treating the threat of the Zika virus (ZIKV) “with a sense of national urgency.”

She said given the fact that the virus is in several neighbouring countries, “it is only a matter of time before it reaches Jamaica’s shores.”

Minister Falconer noted that while the Government is doing its part in preparing for ZikV, citizens must also play their role by getting rid of breeding sites within their surroundings.

“We can’t come into your homes, so you have to take that responsibility. You have to take your health seriously and you have to work with us, partner with us, so we can prevent a greater impact of the Zika virus in Jamaica,” she said.

“Where you see near your homes, stagnant water, or if you have stagnant water that you can’t get rid of, make a call to the Ministry of Health or to your Parish Council and we also have the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA),” she advised.

ZikV is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is found in and around areas where people live, work and play.

ZikV is from the same family of viruses as dengue and Chikungunya, and share similar symptoms, which include fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, headache, weakness, rash, and swelling of the lower limbs.

The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalisation is uncommon.

Nineteen countries in the Americas have confirmed the outbreak of ZikV. These are Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, Suriname and Venezuela.