Jamaica Confirms First Case of the Zika Virus
The Ministry of Health has confirmed one case of the Zika virus in Jamaica. The patient who has now recovered is a four year old child from Portmore, St. Catherine. The child began showing symptoms on January 17, 2016 after earlier returning to Jamaica from travel to Texas in the United States. The child was investigated at the Bustamante Hospital for Children and samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing on January 26, 2016. The Ministry received the positive zika virus test result from CARPHA late Friday afternoon (January, 29, 2016). The case is being investigated to determine the source of infection and the child’s parents and family have been contacted and briefed by a team from the Ministry of Health. No other family member is ill at this time. As part of its investigations the Ministry of Health has undertaken the necessary community interventions in and around the area where the child lives to determine whether there are other cases and has heightened vector control activities. The Minister of Health will provide a full update to the nation at a press briefing to be held on Monday, February 1, 2016. In the meantime, the Ministry is advising persons, particularly pregnant women, to take extra precaution to prevent being bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which transmit the Zika virus. There is adequate medication available in the public health system at this time to treat the symptoms of Zika virus infection in the event of additional cases being identified.