Here comes Zika
New Threat of Mosquito-borne Zika Virus
If that's any satisfaction, Zika is much easier to spell than Chikungunya. But that's not a spelling bee contest.
To Dominicans it seems that the battle against big diseases caused by little mosquitoes has started all over again.
Today the Ministry of Health and Environment warned of the threat of "an emerging mosquito–borne viral disease named Zika which is new to the Americas and presently threatening to spread to the Caribbean."
There is currently an outbreak of the disease in Brazil and from our experience with Chikungunya, Zika could come here too.
Just like Chikungunya and Dengue, the MOH said the the Zika virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito and the symptoms are similar: fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), headache, weakness, rash, swelling of the lower limbs and to a lesser extent vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain. If you got "the Chic" you know about these symptoms.
Added the MOH: "Symptoms usually appear after the incubation period of 3-12 days following the bite of an infected mosquito and last 4-7 days.No death due to the Zika virus has been recorded worldwide to date."
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released an Epidemiological Alert and have asked countries to establish and maintain the capacity for Zika virus infection detection, clinical management and an effective public communication strategy to reduce the presence of the mosquito that transmits this disease, particularly in areas where the vector is present.
So back to mosquito war we go armed with anti- mosquito breeding strategies such as no stagnant water around our homes and the spraying of mosquito repellents. There is no specific vaccine or treatment for the virus.
And beginning on Tuesday May 26 at 4:30 am and continuing on Wednesday and Thursday in the Roseau Health District fogging will begin in areas of high Aedes aegypti mosquito infestation within the island.