Tweet 175 Views no discussions Sharing is caring! Share LocalNews Dominica on full alert for Zika Virus by: Dominica Vibes News – January 8, 2016 Share Share Aedes aegypti mosquitoThe Ministry of Health and the Environment has announced that it is on full alert and has a plan of action to minimize the risk to Dominicans posed by Zika Virus.Zika virus belongs to the same family of viruses as dengue and chikungunya and is predominantly transmitted via the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito but may also be transmitted via blood transfusion, from mother to unborn baby and also through sexual intercourse. It takes 3 to 12 days from exposure to onset of signs and symptoms.The symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalization is uncommon.There is an ongoing outbreak in Brazil since May 2015 and it has been confirmed in Martinique, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela.“The Ministry is on full alert and has put a plan of action for the prevention and control of Zika virus. The plan is aimed at what we refer to as source reduction, reducing mosquito population in Dominica,” Chief Medical Officer, Dr Johnson said on Friday 8 January 2016.Dr Johnson informed that the plan of action also focuses on the clinical management of persons presenting with Zika virus and “very importantly I should say, our plan of action involves an aggressive public education campaign to empower the general public to take the necessary measures to protect themselves against the bites of mosquitoes, particularly the aedes aegypti mosquitoes, as well as the reduction in the number of breeding sites of those mosquitoes”.In addition, Dr Johnson disclosed that the Ministry of Health and the Environment has been in close communication with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in monitoring the situation in the region.According to Dr Johnson, over seventy-five percent of Zika virus cases might be A symptomatic meaning that persons may not present with the real signs and symptoms of the disease.“So it is very likely, although we don’t have any evidence to date that Zika Virus is circulating in Dominica, that the Zika virus might enter Dominica undetected, in other words, someone might enter the country with Zika virus without appearing to be ill,” Dr Johnson explained.As such, the Ministry of Health, based on the guidelines of both of the Caribbean Public Health Agency and the Pan American Health Organization, “will be taking blood specimens for persons who are suspected from suffering from Zika Virus and these specimens will be sent to CARPHA in Trinidad for testing for confirmation of the disease”.