Weekly Update: Health Confirms Two More Cases of Zika, Warns People to Stay Protected During Carnival
This week the V.I. Department of Health confirmed two more cases of Zika in the territory, bringing the total number of confirmed positive cases to 16. One new case was confirmed on St. Croix and one on St. Thomas.
To date, 14 of the 16 confirmed Zika cases have occurred on St. Croix and two on St. Thomas. Ten of the infections have occurred in females, while six have been in males. Last week there were no new cases reported.
“Today’s report shows that we must continue to protect ourselves from mosquito-borne illnesses,” Health Commissioner nominee Dr. Michelle Davis said in a press release.
Davis said, “With Carnival, Jump Up, Ironman-Triathalon, and so many other outdoor events this week, it is important to wear repellent and protective clothing.”
There have been 203 suspected Zika cases in the territory since the start of the outbreak. A total of 103 cases have come back negative for Zika and 83 are currently pending results. There are also three cases listed as “no specimen” on the weekly surveillance report, which indicates that a blood sample was unavailable for testing.
According to this week’s surveillance report, Health has confirmed 11 cases of dengue this year, eight on St. Croix and three on St. Thomas.
Earlier this month the Centers for Disease Control’s confirmed that Zika causes profound birth defects like microcephaly. Originally the CDC thought the link could take several months to prove but the major increase in Zika research around the world has accelerated the confirmation process.
“The Department of Health offers free testing and services for pregnant women to prevent Zika infection and prevent mosquitoes from living in their homes,” Deputy Commissioner Kimberly Jones said.
The CDC has contracted a private company to inspect the homes of pregnant women for potential mosquito breeding risks and to offer larvicide treatment if necessary.
For any households with a pregnant woman that would like this free service or want additional information about it, call Health’s Emergency Operations Center at 340-712-6205.
Health continues to provide free Zika testing at area clinics for pregnant women, despite if they’re showing symptoms or not. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes, but can also include muscle pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and vomiting.
Health is distributing education materials in English and Spanish, as well as prevention tools like mosquito nets, insect repellent and condoms to pregnant women at the following locations:
On St. Croix
– Department of Health MCH Clinic
– Department of Health WIC Clinic
– Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center
– Frederiksted Health Center
On St. John
– Health Care Connection
– Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center
On St. Thomas
– Department of Health MCH Clinic (Pediatric)
– Department of Health Community Health Clinic (Prenatal)
– Roy Lester Schneider Hospital
– East End Medical Center
For local information about Zika virus, call the Department of Health Emergency Operations Center at 340-712-6205. For more general information about the Zika virus, call toll free: 1-800-CDC-INFO.
Health is partnering with several labs and clinics throughout the territory to provide free virus infection testing:
On St. Croix:
– Acute Alternative Medical Group, 772-2883.
– Beeston Hill Clinical Lab, 773-4990.
– Clinical Laboratory Inc. (Sunny Isle), 778-5369.
– Frederiksted Health Care, Inc., 772-0260.
– Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center, 778-6311.
– Primary Care PLLC, 718-7788.
On St. John:
– Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center, 693-8900.
On St. Thomas:
– Community Medical Laboratory, 776-7444.
– Cranston/Dottin Biomedical Lab, 774-6256.
– Doctors Clinical Laboratory, 774-2760.
– Havensight Medical Laboratory, 774-5515.
– Roy Lester Schneider Hospital, 776-8311.