The Ministry of Health and Social Development is reassuring the community that there are no confirmed cases of Zika in the Territory.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ronald Georges, said that since the concerns surrounding Zika started there have been 14 persons who has fit the case definition for Zika and they have all tested negative.
“Recently we tested an individual who was in close proximity with two known positive cases from another territory and that individual tested negative,” Dr. Georges confirmed.
According to the Medical Officer, Zika testing is done in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and only samples that meet the case definition are tested. “We are only able to test persons who were in contact with known cases, who meet the case definition for Zika and those who present a rash with no associated fever,” Dr. Georges said.
“Zika is a disease that doesn’t present symptoms in some individuals, which often goes unnoticed and the body’s immune system often fights the infection. It is imperative that the residents of the BVI take the proper precautions to reduce mosquito breeding in and around their properties to lower their vulnerability to this and other vector borne illnesses,” Dr. Georges advised.
Residents are reminded to “Fight the Bite, Destroy Mosquito Breeding Sites” by conducting weekly surveillance activities around their premises. Unusable containers and garbage are to be disposed of on a regular basis, and blocked drains where water could settle are to be opened. Persons are also encouraged to properly scrub the sides of containers to destroy mosquito eggs, keep the yard clean and clear of weeds, and keep containers not being used faced down.
The Ministry of Health is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment are managed efficiently to enable all persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and well-being.