Confirmed Zika virus cases stable

The Ministry of Health has confirmed the story that the Times broke last night, asserting that there are two confirmed Zika virus virus on the Island.

As the Times correctly reported, the cases are a twenty-five year old male and a twenty-eight year old female.

Medical Officer of Health, Sharon Belmar-George told a news conference this morning at the Ministry of Health that both cases were in stable condition.


“The Ministry of Health is continuing its epidemiological surveillance in terms of the cases and ensuring that the necessary systems are in place,” Belmar-George disclosed.

She said since February 1, when the World Health Organization declared the Zika virus threat a public health emergency of international concern, the Ministry of Health here has been preparing for both the prevention and the management of the mosquito borne disease.

The Medical Officer of Health told the news conference that the Ministry has increased its surveillance to ensure the timely diagnosis of cases and providing information on cases that are suspected.

Doctor Michelle Francois who was also present at today’s news conference, asserted that the two confirmed Zika virus cases in no way mean that  authorities here are going to throw up their hands in despair.

“What the surveillance system is doing now is monitoring the spread of the virus and  working with our other departments, including public health agencies and the general public to contain the spread of the virus,” Francois said.

She revealed that the Ministry of Health has also been monitoring the spread of dengue other viruses.

Francois said there are plans to monitor the complications from Zika virus disease.

She reiterated calls to members of the public to assist authorities here in containing the spread of the virus.

Claudius Prospere, Assistant Chief Environmental Health Officer, told the news conference that Saint Lucia has always been in a prepared state to respond to any cases of Zika.

“All we have to do now is to focus our intervention measures,” Prospere asserted.