Regionally: Zika spreads to St Vincent and the Grenadines

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 20:00

St Vincent and the Grenadines has announced it is the latest Caribbean country with a confirmed case of the Zika virus.

Minister of Health, Senator Luke Browne is expected to hold a press conference today to discuss the response of his ministry to the mosquito-borne infection.

Browne told Parliament Tuesday evening that his Ministry has received that evening confirmation from Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad that a sample sent from St. Vincent and the Grenadines had tested positive for Zika.

Browne, however, told lawmakers and media audiences that the person who was diagnosed with the virus has fully recovered.

He said the confirmation of the virus in SVG takes his ministry’s action plan to a new level.

The health minister urged residents of the country to take steps to protect themselves again Zika and otter mosquito-borne illnesses and to eliminate places where mosquitos can breed.

He further urged the public to note the mosquito fogging schedule and to open their windows and doors in their homes to increase the effectiveness of the fogging.

Zika is a viral disease characterised by fever, rash and bodyaches. It is one virus of the viral family that includes Yellow Fever, West Nile, Chikungunya and Dengue.

But, unlike some of those viruses, there is no vaccine to prevent Zika, nor is there medicine to treat the infection.

Zika is commanding worldwide attention because of an increased incidence of microcephaly in regions with increased Zika infection.