The number of confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has reached three.
The Ministry of Health said on Monday that it had received notification of another laboratory confirmed case of Zika.
The third recorded case is that of a 35-year-old female of Bequia.
The ministry said it continues to intensify its efforts in a targeted approach to effectively tackle the Aedes Agepti mosquito and the Zika virus.
Ministry spokesperson Neeka Anderson-Isaacs said in a statement that the ministry thanks the people of SVG “for their active involvement in the fight against Zika and urges persons to continue to take the necessary steps to protect themselves”.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Simone Keizer- Beache stressed that all Vincentians should continue to protect themselves by using insect repellants, wearing long clothes and engaging in vigorous source reduction measures in their environment, such as the home, the workplace, schools, etc., the ministry said in its statement.
Keizer-Beache also encouraged the public to work even more closely with the ministry in the various activities that will be ongoing during Mosquito Awareness Week, May 9-15, which will focus on mosquito control measures to protect the Vincentian population, especially pregnant women who may be at risk of getting Zika and its complications.
Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito.
The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realise they have been infected.
Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.