The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health reports three (3) new cases of Zika in the territory. According to the weekly surveillance report, there are 29 confirmed positive cases in the territory, 12 cases on St. Thomas, 16 on St. Croix and 1 on St. John. Currently, one (1) pregnant woman has been confirmed positive; a total of 727 pregnant women in the USVI have had a Zika test. 

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

Additionally, 22 cases of dengue have been confirmed; there are five (5) new cases on St. Croix and two (2) new cases on St. Thomas. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a man with Zika can transmit the virus to his sex partner(s) through sexual intercourse, including vaginal and anal sex, and likely, oral sex. The CDC reports that at this time there is no evidence that a woman with Zika can transmit the virus to her sex partners, and there is no evidence that Zika can be transmitted through deep kissing. As such, The Department of Health (DOH) is encouraging that condoms ought to be used during sexual intercourse.

The Health Commissioner, Dr. Michelle S. Davis emphasized the need for everyone to work together to prevent the spread of Zika in the USVI. “While there is no vaccine for Zika, we are encouraging all pregnant women and anyone exhibiting symptoms of Zika to take advantage of the free Zika services being offered by the Department of Heath, to protect ourselves and our families from the potentially devastating health effects of this virus,” she said.

In support of the efforts to prevent the increase of Zika cases, the DOH is increasing its efforts to educate the public about ways of prevention, through community outreach efforts and Public Service Announcements (social media, radio, online news outlets and newspaper), targeting residents throughout the territory. The DOH will continue offering the following FREE services to pregnant women:

  • Free Zika testing at 12 locations throughout the islands;
  • Free Inspections to look for mosquito larvae and mosquito breeding grounds at/around her house;
  • Free Larvicide treatment if mosquito larvae are found at/around her house;
  • Free Zika Prevention Kit, includes educational materials, insect repellent, permethrin spray repellant, condoms to avoid sexual transmission of Zika, treatment tabs for preventing mosquitoes from breeding in standing water, and a bed net. 

The DOH is also offering free Zika tests to anyone exhibiting common symptoms of Zika infection, to include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).