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CARPHA stresses individual responsibility in ZIKV fight

Published:Monday | January 25, 2016 | 12:11 PM

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is stressing the importance of individual responsibility in controlling the spread of the Zika virus (ZIKV), as it notes that border surveillance to keep the virus out would be pointless.

At a press conference this morning, CARPHA officials noted that only one in four people with the Zika virus will have symptoms.

Head of CARPHA Dr James Hospedales, says as a result it would be impossible to screen for symptoms at ports of entry.

He says individuals must take responsibility for preventing the spread of the disease by avoiding getting bitten by mosquitoes and isolating themselves if they have a fever.

Hospedales says people who suspect they have been infected should take extra precaution to avoid being bitten within a week of noticing a fever.

CARPHA officials also note that vector control will be key in helping to control the spread of the Zika virus.

They note that the disease cannot spread without the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which are the vectors for the illness.

Already four Caribbean countries have recorded cases of the mosquito-borne illness, which is linked to a serious brain defect in infants and a syndrome which causes paralysis.

The countries with cases are Barbados, Guyana, Suriname and Haiti.