St Vincent records first case of Zika virusWednesday, February 24, 2016
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC) — St Vincent and the Grenadines has become the latest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to record its first case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
Health Minister Luke Browne told Parliament on Tuesday night that the authorities had received confirmation of the case from the Trinidad-based Caribbean Regional Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and that the unidentified person has since fully recovered.
The health minister urged citizens to take steps to protect themselves again Zika and other mosquito-borne illnesses and to eliminate places where the insect can breed.
Zika is a viral disease characterised by fever, rash and body aches. 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 – a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same sex and age- in regions with increased Zika infection.
Apart from St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname are among CARICOM countries where the virus has been detected.
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