The Jamaican Health Ministry has reported 1387 suspected Zika virus cases through the end of May, with 16 confirmed cases, including two in pregnant women. Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton says that all patients confirmed with Zika have fully recovered and the pregnant women will be closely monitored.

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During a press conference last Thursday, Tufton said the Health Ministry will enter the second phase of its public health response to the Zika virus (ZikV), which will target pregnant women and their partners, and persons who develop severe conditions such as Guillain–Barré Syndrome (GBS).

“As you know, the unborn child is at high risk of developing microcephaly once the woman has been infected with the Zika virus while pregnant. We will continue to monitor pregnant women at the community level throughout their pregnancies, including providing them with educational support,” he said.

Minister Tufton informed that approximately 20,000 bed nets will be provided over the next six months to all pregnant women, who visit antenatal clinics across the island. The nets are being supplied by charity organization, Food for the Poor.

In addition, Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry, Dr. Kevin Harvey, says the Ministry has committed an additional $100 million to fight the Zika virus. “We’re allocating the money to do some of the interventions over the next few weeks. The good thing is that we’re having significant support from charities such as Food for the Poor (FFP),” he said.