Fourth case of Zika confirmed

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Public Health officials have confirmed a fourth case of imported Zika virus contracted by a returning Cayman Islands resident.

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said the female patient travelled from 4 to 8 July to a country where there is an outbreak of Zika. She reported onset of symptoms beginning 14 July when she visited the Health Services Authority on 16 July.

Dr. Williams-Rodriguez added that there is no evidence of local transmission of Zika in the Cayman Islands to date.

“There has been a slight increase in the number of countries globally that have reported evidence of mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission,” he said.

As of 27 July, 67 countries and territories had reported evidence of mosquito- borne Zika virus transmission since 2007 (64 of these countries and territories reported evidence of the mosquito borne Zika Virus transmission since 2015).

This figure includes the following countries and territories in the Americas, which have newly reported local transmission: Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos, and in Florida, U.S.A., where 15 non travel-related Zika infections are currently being investigated according to media reports today (3 August 2016).

Investigations also continue into a possible case of transmission following close contact with a confirmed case with a very high viral load in Utah, U.S.A.

“We are aware of this fourth case of Zika and are taking all the necessary precautions to stop the local transmission of the virus,” said MRCU Director Dr. Bill Petrie. “This includes traditional insecticide spraying and now we also have the additional public health programme in West Bay using genetically modified mosquitoes to bring down the population of Aedes aegypti, which is the mosquito that transmits Zika, dengue and chikungunya.”

Dr. Petrie also reminded the public to help eliminate Aedes aegypti breeding sites such as buckets, old tyres and other objects which can hold water.

For more advice on mosquito control, contact MRCU on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2223 on Cayman Brac; and DEH on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.

For further information on Zika, please contact the Public Health Department at 244-2648 or 244-2632.

Fast Facts on Zika Virus Around the World

  1. Paraguay is the latest country to report microcephaly with two cases associated with laboratory confirmed Zika virus infection.
  2. In Spain, the first baby with microcephaly linked with in-utero Zika infection was born.
  3. As of 27 July, 15 countries and territories worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) and/or laboratory confirmation of a Zika virus infection among GBS cases.
  4. The overall risk of sexual transmission of Zika virus is considered to be low, but a small number of cases continue to be reported. Since 2015, at least 31 cases of possible sexual transmission of the Zika virus has been reported.

Source: World Health Organization (WHO) and Public Health, England (PHE)

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