ferguson Zika virus


KINGSTON, October 3 (JIS):

            Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, says there is no case of the Zika virus (ZIKV) in Jamaica.

            “Based on advice from my technical team, this is not so. Outside of Brazil, there have been no cases confirmed in any country in the Latin American and Caribbean region, including Jamaica,” he said.

            The Health Minister was addressing a press conference to provide an update on the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), held on Friday (October 2), at the Ministry of Education’s National Heroes Circle offices in Kingston.

He informed that a sample sent to the Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) last week has tested negative for Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika.

 “I assure you that if we do confirm a case of Zika in Jamaica, the Ministry of Health will inform the country promptly,” he said.

Dr. Ferguson continued to urge persons to be vigilant in destroying mosquito breeding sites and protect themselves from mosquito bites.

“This is a period when we generally see an increase in mosquito-borne diseases, with the rains we have been having recently,” he noted.

The Zika virus is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The symptoms include severe fever, joint and muscle pains, headaches, rashes and conjunctivitis. These symptoms usually appear within three to 12 days following a bite.