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Timing of gov't's meeting with doctor who made ZIKV claims in 2015 criticised by opposition

Published:Thursday | February 4, 2016 | 2:04 PM
Opposition spokesperson on health, Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte, says the situation highlights what she calls the incompetent handling of the response to the virus.

The Opposition is criticising the government for taking months to meet with a medical doctor who last year claimed that she diagnosed several cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZIKV). 

Last October, consultant pediatrician and cardiologist, Dr Sandra Williams-Phillips, claimed she suffered from ZIKV and later diagnosed at least 12 cases of the virus.

The health ministry dismissed those reports, noting that the cases were not tested in a lab and only confirmed Jamaica's first case of the virus this month. 

However, faced with public concerns that the virus may have been in Jamaica from last year, health minister, Horace Dalley, has called Dr Williams-Phillips to a meeting. 

Opposition spokesperson on health, Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte, says the situation highlights what she calls the incompetent handling of the response to the virus. 

According to her, Dr Williams-Phillips is a competent and well-trained doctor who should not have been ignored. 

 

Opposition Spokesperson on Health, Marlene Malahoo Forte

The medical doctor is scheduled to meet with the health minister today.

The Zika virus is from the same family as the dengue and chikungunya viruses and share similar symptoms.

These include fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, headache, weakness, rash and swelling of the lower limbs.

Symptoms usually appear three to 12 days after an infected mosquito bites a person and can last for four to seven days.