Caribbean (Mckoy’s News) – Zika Declined, but Mosquitoes still a Concern: Even though the number of cases of Zika has significantly declined from the outbreak of 2016, there is still need for continued vigilance and action on mosquito borne diseases.
Executive Director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency, CARPHA Dr James Hospedales has warned that mosquitos continue to pose a health security threat, a tourism threat and an economic threat.
This newest mosquito borne disease to the region came on the heels of ChikV; which affected the health and economic structure of most countries and territories.
In late 2015, the Caribbean confirmed its first case of the Zika virus, followed by a dramatic increase in 2016.
The number of laboratory requests and confirmed tests peaked in August that year, then began a steady decline in December.
The Zika epidemic has shown signs of a significant slow-down and the risk to residents and visitors is deemed much lower.
However, the region continues to struggle and fight the Aedes Aegypti mosquito which is responsible for Zika’s transmission.
Zika has been associated with an increase in Guillian Barre syndromes, GBA in five CARPHA member states.
A Zika-associated case of microcephaly has also been reported in one country.
No reports of sexually transmitted Zika cases have been documented.
CARPHA revealed that is reference laboratory has received thousands of requests for testing and as of April 2017, 24 member states reported locally transmitted cases of the virus.
Contributed by Dr Colin O Jarrett