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Health Ministry to step up surveillance for Zika virus

By SNO Staff

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Left to right: Assistant Chief Environmental Health Officer, Claudius Prospere; Medical Officer of Health, Sharon Belmar-George; Surveillance Officer Michelle Francois.

Left to right: Assistant Chief Environmental Health Officer, Claudius Prospere; Medical Officer of Health, Sharon Belmar-George; Surveillance Officer Michelle Francois.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed reports that two persons have contracted the Zika virus in Saint Lucia, as reported by St. Lucia News Online (SNO) on Wednesday evening.

Medical Officer of Health, Sharon Belmar-George, revealed that a twenty-five year-old male and a twenty-eight year old female have been infected with the mosquito-borne virus.

Belmar-George made this disclosure on Thursday during a press conference at the Ministry of Health.

She said now that the Zika virus is present on island, the Ministry will be stepping up its surveillance to ensure the timely diagnosis of cases and providing information on cases that are suspected.

Meanwhile, Surveillance Officer, Dr. Michelle Francois, said the surveillance system is monitoring the spread of the virus and working with our other departments, to contain the spread of the virus.

The Ministry said it has been prepared from day one since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus a public health emergency of international concern.

Fogging in high-risk communities will continue, while there will be a greater effort to step up the public awareness campaign to educate to citizenry on how to prevent the spread of Zika.

The officials said while the Ministry will do all it can to help provide a safe environment for all, members of the community have an important role to play in ensuring that they rid their homes of mosquitoes.

Members of the media at Thursday's press conference.

Members of the media at Thursday’s press conference.

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7 comments

  1. So the zika people have small heads. What exactly is the problem ?

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  2. Jus asking Do ppl get cripple when the zika bite them

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  3. Long sleeve shirts and long pants were strongly recommended.

    But all that time the young people still wearing 3/4 pants or "capries". Don't tell me you have not noticed? Now that Zika is actually here you (Health Officials) will have to get away from managing these potential "pandemics" from strictly behind your desks!!
    Get out there and follow up your intended policies.

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  4. What Health Officials must realize is that after disseminating information they must be able to ascertain whether the public is heeding their warnings. If you send out 2000 missives and no one is taking you seriously, you are not succeeding. You are not prepared and you are definitely not ready.

    You are in no position to brag!!!!

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  5. Surveillance? You people are a bunch of comedians. Why are taxpayers paying your salaries?

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  6. Are you sure that it is not because of the US589 million announced by the US to help combat Zika that your are now declaring that we have Zika? I do not trust this government. You should not trust them too. Why try to sue anybody who speaks out? Is this to frighten citizens into accepting information, Remember the government sent condolences and attended a memorial for Gobat while refusing to inform the public that he was dead?

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