The Pan American Health Organization is alerting everyone in the Caribbean region that there are reported cases of the mosquito-borne zika virus which is a virus transmitted by the same vector that spreads both dengue and chikingunya known as the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
The zika virus can presently be found in the OECS, Martinique and in Puerto Rico and is raising many concerns due to the fact that these islands are in close proximity to the British Virgin Islands.
Dr. Ronald Georges, medical officer of Health in British Virgin Islands, believes that this is a matter that needs to be looked into with much care and scrutiny so that the public can become aware about the impact that this virus has on their health. Georges further stated that, quote “The ministry is encouraging persons to take better control of the environment by eliminating mosquito breeding sites in households and common areas. Personal prevention should be heightened by using mosquito bed nets which can also be treated with insecticide; wearing clothing that does not expose the skin, using mosquito repellents as well as installing wire mesh screens at windows and doors.”
The symptoms for the zika virus includes fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, eyeball pain, weakness, red rash consisting of tiny bumps, swelling on the lower limbs, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain and conjunctivitis.
These symptoms can last for a period of four to seven days. The zika virus can also cause microcephaly which is a birth defect that causes infants to be born with a head that is smaller than usual and this can also lead to a small brain size and intellectual disability.
Viewers are reminded that there are no medicine or treatment for this virus itself and if you believe that you have come into contact with this virus, you should visit the health care provider for medication to reduce some of the symptoms and to get advice on what measures to take.
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