Martinique reports local Zika virus transmission

Martinique reports local Zika virus transmission

The Caribbean island of Martinique has become the latest country or territory in the Americas to report autochthonous, or local transmission of Zika virus, according to a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) epidemiological report this week.

This makes the island in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Seathe 11th place in the Americas to report the mosquito borne virus in 2015 and the 12th to report local transmission in total.

According to Dr. Joy St. John, Director of Surveillance, Disease Preventionand Control at CARPHA “In the last decade, the Caribbean has been wrestling with wave after wave ofvector borne diseases. During the last two years the Region has seen unrelenting outbreaks of Chikungunya, and more recently Zika.”

She said this at the opening of a Workshop to Develop a Regional Network on Surveillance and Diagnosis of Emerging Vector-borne Diseases in the Caribbean earlier this month.

Zika fever is a disease caused by the Zika virus (ZIKV), transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. This virus was first isolated in 1947 from rhesus monkey samples, in the Zika forest in Uganda. The virus was named after the region where it was first collected.

Zika virus infection may present with few or no symptoms. In general, disease symptoms are mild and short-lasting (2-7 days). Where present, they are similar to symptoms of dengue and chikungunya, and may include fever, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis (red eyes), retro-orbital pain, headache, weakness, rash, swelling of the lower limbs and to a lesser extent vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain.

There is no specific medicine or treatment for Zika virus infection.


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1 Comment

  1. The Commentator
    December 26, 2015 at 12:07 am Reply

    Since it is in Martinique then it is just a matter of time before the Zika virus reaches our shores. It is a threat that the authorities will have to manage carefully in 2016.
    The Zika virus has created a medical crisis for pregnant women in Brazil so it may be advisable for women in Saint Lucia to get pregnant this month or by January 2016 before this virus becomes endemic here.

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