Categorized | National News

‘Take Precautions to Prevent Zika’

Just 18 months after the epidemic became a global concern, Brazil announced the end of its public health emergency over Zika last month however, according to Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands the same could not be said for The Bahamas.

In fact, Dr. Sands told reporters outside Cabinet recently that Bahamians should take the necessary precautions.

“The summer is here and as it calls for more rain, Bahamians should go ahead and do what is necessary to prevent the contraction of the Zika virus, especially children,” he said.

At last report, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention listed The Bahamas as alert level two for the Zika virus, meaning that residents and tourists alike should practice enhanced precautions.

That includes, but are not limited to, covering exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, using EPA insect repellants, keeping mosquitos outside as much as possible, getting rid of idle bodies of water and abstaining from or using protection for sex, as Zika can be sexually transmitted.

In February of this year, local officials expressed optimism regarding the virus.

According to the Ministry of Health’s official website, as of mid-February, there were no new cases of the Zika virus reported in the country.

“The number of suspected cases we are getting from the facilities has decreased since the hurricane, so I’m assuming maybe the breeding sites were destroyed,” Senior Medical Officer at the Department of Public Health Dr. Merciana Moxey told The Bahama Journal during an interview.

“Internationally, the numbers have also gone down. We haven’t had any reported cases globally since January of this year and this was a country in Africa.  As far as the Caribbean, it was late last year since we had a reported case.”

But she said officials have not completely let down their guard.

Based on the histories received from the cases, it has been determined that there is a mix of travel associated and local transmission.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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