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Heath Ministry urges Jamaica to step up Zik-V prevention activities

Published:Wednesday | December 2, 2015 | 10:01 AM

Chief Medical Officer in the Health Ministry, Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse says Jamaicans should begin to increase their mosquito prevention activities for the possible introduction of the zika virus to the island. 

The warning comes amid reports that the Pan American Health Authority is investigating a possible link between the zika virus infection and birth defects. 

The zika virus, which has been in South America for sometime, was confirmed in the Caribbean a few weeks ago.

Pregnant women are among the high risk group for severe symptoms of zika virus.

Children under five years old, the elderly and persons with chronic non-communicable diseases are also at greater risk. 

Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse says Jamaicans who fall in the high risk group should take precaution and prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.

The Health Ministry will be hosting a training session on the zika virus on Thursday with senior health workers across the island.

This will be followed by training of health workers and those in other sectors islandwide.

After the zika virus outbreak, several babies in Brazil were found to have microcephaly which results in an abnormal growth of the brain and stunting of the growth of the head of the foetus arising from infection in the first months of pregnancy.