The Office of the Chief Medical Officer was informed of the confirmation of the island’s first two cases of the Zika Virus Disease, by the laboratory at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad.
The patients are a 28 year old female and a 25 year old male.
The individuals are stable and being treated and monitored as outpatients, according to the recommended protocol of care.
An outbreak investigation team has been deployed to conduct a full epidemiological investigation pertaining to these cases.
The individuals did not have a history of recent travel to a Zika affected country.
Investigations are currently on-going into these confirmed cases of the Zika Viral Disease. All efforts are being undertaken to limit the risk of further transmission.
Further updates shall be issued through the Medical Officer of Health as more information becomes available.
In the interim, all are reminded to adopt and maintain measures to reduce exposure to this virus.
This includes storing water in tightly sealed containers to avoid the breeding of mosquitos, using insect repellants and long clothing to prevent the exposure of skin to mosquito bites and conducting routine checks of households for potential and active breeding sites and when identified, immediately disposing of them appropriately.
Following confirmation of Zika Virus Disease within the Caribbean earlier this year, Saint Lucia, through the collaboration of key partners and communities with the Ministry of Health, intensified mosquito control and prevention strategies in order to ensure the safety and well-being of both citizens and visitors.
This has included intensified public awareness on the disease, training of all health staff to ensure timely recognition and prompt treatment of affected persons, heightened epidemiological surveillance, and the conduct of Vector Awareness Week in March 2016.
Partnership with schools, local government, tourism and business sectors and the wider community in mosquito prevention and control strategies, has extended the reach and increased the positive impact of those activities.