Health officials in the eastern Caribbean island nation of Barbados are investigating eight suspected Zika virus infections, according to local media Friday. According to Minister of Health, John Boyce, samples on the suspected cases have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for confirmatory testing.
Boyce is urging the public to clean up mosquito breeding areas around their homes and businesses. “The fact that the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus, is the same mosquito that spreads Dengue Fever and Chikungunya, we are all very familiar with the prevention and control measures which we need to undertake… Inspect your surroundings to search out and remove mosquito breeding places on your properties. The Ministry of Health recommends that this should be done once per week,” he urged.
Zika fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by Zika virus (ZIKV), consisting of mild fever, rash (mostly maculo-papular), headaches, arthralgia, myalgia, asthenia, and non-purulent conjunctivitis, occurring about three to twelve days after the mosquito vector bite. One out of four people may develop symptoms, but in those who are affected the disease is usually mild with symptoms that can last between two and seven days. Its clinical manifestation is often similar to dengue, also a mosquito-borne illness.