On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added Sint Maarten, a country on the southern part of a Caribbean island shared with Saint Martin, after the Dutch constituent country reported their second Zika virus case.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

The second case, confirmed one week ago, involves a Dutch Tourist from Netherlands who arrived on SXM on February 3rd  and departed on February 10th. The person was staying within the Dawn Beach Estates residence area. It wasn’t until February 13th, 2016, 3 days after arriving in the Netherlands that the patient experienced symptom. Similar to the first confirmed case the person had also traveled to a neighboring island for the day prior to being diagnosed.

The first confirmed case concerns a person who was residing in the Saunders area. Upon diagnosis when the person is most at risk of being bitten by a mosquito and spreading the virus, the person remained at home and was informed and requested to use repellent in order to avoid mosquitoes from feeding on their blood.

Health officials note as the virus is now touching home here on St. Maarten, persons should be aware of the associated symptoms and consult with their Doctor in cases of suspicion. The Zika virus infection may present few or no symptoms. In general disease symptoms are mild and short-lasting. It’s symptoms are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya and may include conjunctivitis, fever, rash ( on the entire body and on face) joint and muscle pain.

“As we continue to monitor and take pro-active measures to eliminate breeding grounds and protect the population and visitors, it is important for everyone to clean your surroundings, make use of our reporting mechanisms, (550-Call/ 550-2255) this hotline also can be access through Whatsapp. We encourage people to send pictures of your reports and provide accurate information on the location. It is also important that person use repellant correctly and continuously especially at the times when the mosquito is most active which is at early morning and evening,” stated Minister Lee in press briefing.

In addition, St. Vincent and the Grenadines was also added to the CDC travel notice today.