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Zika Virus Infection in Jamaica

02 Feb 2016

The Ministry of Health for Jamaica has confirmed a case of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in the country. The case is a four year old child from Portmore, St. Catherine, who is recovering well.

An investigation is underway and the Ministry of Health has undertaken the necessary community interventions in and around the area where the case was identified in order to identify possible further cases and has heightened vector control activities.

Advice for Travellers

Avoidance of mosquito bites, particularly during daylight hours, is recommended for all travellers. Due to the possible link between Zika virus infection and birth defects, pregnant women, or those planning pregnancy are strongly urged to seek pre-travel advice from their health care provider. They should be helped to understand the risks and to make an informed decision on whether to change their travel plans. If the decision is made to travel, strict measures to avoid mosquito bites both during daytime and nightime hours should be followed.

Bite avoidance measures include: covering up with clothing, the use of insect repellent and bed nets impregnated with insecticide. Reduction of mosquito breeding sites around hotel rooms/homes is advised for longer term stays.