Saint Lucia still Zika negative

Saint Lucia still Zika negative

Saint Lucia still maintains a Zika negative status.

But Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Doctor Merlene Fredericks has asserted that there is a strong possibility that the mosquito borne virus will eventually reach this country.

Fredericks disclosed that local health authorities have been following developments in the region where Trinidad and Tobago has become the latest country to report being Zika positive.

She disclosed that although Saint Lucia is so far Zika negative, persons have been presenting suspicious symptoms.

Fredericks explained however that the symptoms of Zika are similar to dengue fever, chikungunya and leptospirosis.

She said that samples from persons suspected of having contracted Zika have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing.

The CMO explained that citizens can minimize the possibility of contracting Zika by doing the things that they have repeatedly been admonished to do such as keeping the mosquito population down, eliminating breeding places and protecting themselves from being bitten.

She also appealed to persons to ensure that drums with water are covered since mosquitoes breed in clear standing water.

The CMO revealed that drums remain the primary breeding places for mosquitoes in Saint Lucia.

In addition, she encouraged the disposal of bulky items such a refrigerators which can harbor water.

Fredericks also urged that used tires also be gotten rid of and noted that the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority (SLSWMA) has a functioning tire shredder that can be used for that purpose.

She commended cleanup activities that have been undertaken by various communities and revealed that the Ministry of health has stepped up its fogging campaign.

Nevertheless the CMO pointed out that fogging should not be the primary means of reducing the mosquito population.

According to her, fogging assists especially in times of an impending epidemic by killing adult mosquitoes.

But she revealed that fogging unwanted consequences such as the resistance that the mosquito develops.

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1 Comment

  1. Ross Maund
    February 28, 2016 at 12:41 pm Reply

    We have just returned to Canada after spending five weeks in St. Lucia. We have travelled to this beautiful island annually for many decades & love the country and its people. We understand that acknowledging the presence of ZIKA virus on the Island could have an impact on tourism and unfortunately that is likely causing governmental authorities to move slowly in being transparent. My wife on her last evening on the Island was bitten by a mosquito and the next morning had all of the diagnostic indicators of Zika. As we were returning to Canada that day she required a wheelchair and special handling for her return to Toronto. Zika virus IS in St. Lucia

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