The Virgin Islands Department of Health confirmed one additional case of Zika on St. Croix and one in St. Thomas. The total confirmed Zika cases is now 16; 14 of which are on St. Croix and two on St. Thomas.
“Today’s report shows that we must continue to protect ourselves from mosquito-borne illnesses,” Commissioner Nominee, Dr. Michelle Davis stated in response to the updated report. “With Carnival, Jump Up, Ironman-Triathalon, and so many other outdoor events this week, it is important to wear repellent and protective clothing.”
This advice is especially true for pregnant women, as Zika can be passed to her unborn baby and can cause serious birth defects in babies of women who had Zika virus while pregnant.
“The Department of Health offers free testing and services for pregnant women to prevent Zika infection and prevent mosquitoes from living in their homes,” explained Deputy Commissioner Kimberly Jones.
Free Zika testing locations can be found online at www.healthvi.org. The Department of Health will also inspect the homes of pregnant women for mosquitoes and mosquito larvae and provide treatment, as needed in the homes of those pregnant women who receive testing.
Pregnant women are also eligible to receive a free Zika Prevention Kit from 14 healthcare clinics across the Virgin Islands. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently delivered 750 kits to St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. Each kit includes educational materials in English and Spanish, EPA-registered insect repellent, permethrin spray repellent for treating clothing, condoms to avoid sexual transmission of Zika, treatment tabs for preventing mosquitoes from breeding in standing water, and a bed net.