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CARPHA launches new initiative to deal with Zika virus

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

PORT Of SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Two years after the first outbreak of the mosquito borne disease, Zika, in the Caribbean, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) says the invasion of the virus has reduced significantly.

It said while health officials have reported a decrease in the number of suspected and confirmed cases, it is important to note that the virus is still present within our communities.

As a result, CARPHA said that it is intensifying its campaign to eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the common vector for Zika, Chikungunya, Dengue and Yellow Fever.

CARPHA said that similar to previous campaign efforts, it continues to provide valuable information that can help in the prevention and control of mosquito-borne diseases, spread by the Aedes aegypti.

“With funding from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CARPHA has created an innovative information toolkit, which includes animated videos, posters and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).”

It said that the toolkit is specially packaged to meet the needs of a diverse audience, which include public health professionals and clinicians, pregnant women, and children.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that the Zika virus appears to have changed in character while expanding its geographical range.

“The change is from an endemic, mosquito-borne infection causing mild illness across equatorial Africa and Asia, to an infection causing, from 2007 onwards, large outbreaks, and from 2013 onwards, outbreaks linked with neurological disorders including Guillain-Barré syndrome and microcephaly across the Pacific region and the Americas.”

WHO warned that the future transmission of Zika infection is likely to coincide mainly with the distribution of Aedes mosquito vectors, although there may be rare instances of person-to-person transmission,” noting however that “beyond the range of mosquitos, infection has been, and will continue to be, carried widely by international travel”.