No reported cases of ZIKV, but health minister urging continued vigilance
While there are no reported cases of the zika virus (ZIKV) on the island, Health Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson, has implored the public to continue to be vigilant in destroying breeding sites for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits the disease.
Ferguson said this is especially critical during the current period of drought, as mosquito eggs can last up to a year during the dry season.
He points out that when it rains, open containers with eggs then become potential breeding sites.
Ferguson said the Health Ministry continues to call for the population to clean up its surroundings, as the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is generally found in and around homes, workplaces and places of worship.
In May, there were confirmed cases of the ZIKV in sections of Brazil, prompting the Jamaican government to take proactive public education and clean-up measures.
Ferguson said the Ministry is still alert and that the health ministry has been exercising a high degree of caution, considering the number of persons who travel between Jamaica and Brazil.
He was speaking to journalists following the recent commissioning into service of two new elevators at the Kingston Public Hospital.
ZIKV is similar to Dengue, with symptoms including fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, headache, weakness, rash and swelling of the lower limbs.
The symptoms are said to be mild and short-lasting.
After the bite of an infected mosquito, symptoms usually appear following the incubation period of three to 12 days and symptoms last for four to seven days.
No deaths have been recorded worldwide due to the zika virus.