PRESS RELEASE – The Office of the Chief Medical Officer was informed by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) of the confirmation of two additional cases of Zika Virus Disease in Saint Lucia.
The patients are both female residing in separate locations within Saint Lucia. At the point of case confirmation, the two cases seem unrelated. There is no apparent clustering of cases as the confirmed cases to date are from separate communities within the island.
Officials of the Ministry of Health are currently undertaking a full epidemiological investigation.These two cases follow theisland’s confirmation of its first two of the Zika Virus Disease on Wednesday April 8, 2016.
In the interim, all persons islandwide are reminded to adopt and maintain measures to reduce exposure to this mosquito borne virus. This includes storing water in tightly sealed containers to avoid the breeding of mosquitos, using insect repellants and long sleeved shirts and long pants clothing to protect exposed skin from mosquito bites.
Also, households should conduct routine checks inside and outside of their property for potential and active breeding sites and when identified, immediately disposing of them as has been recommended by the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Health maintains its strong collaboration with the tourism sector for a strategic approach to Zika virus preparedness.
The Government of Saint Lucia together with partners within the tourism sector have invested in the procurement and set-up of In-2-Care Traps to strengthen the vector management programme with specific focus on locations with high mosquito indices.
Tourism partners have also provided on-going support with donations of bed nets to be distributed at health facilities, the training of staff within the tourism sector, community clean-up campaigns and other health promotion and public awareness efforts.
The Ministry continues to work in collaboration with regional and international partners as we seek manage the disease.
The public will be kept updated by the Ministry of Health on progress in managing the response to Zika Virus Disease in country.