My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why Zika Virus in Martinique means 2016 the Year of Zika Virus in Jamaica

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Why Zika Virus in Martinique means 2016 the Year of Zika Virus in Jamaica

“In the last decade, the Caribbean has been wrestling with wave after wave of vector borne diseases. During the last two years the Region has seen unrelenting outbreaks of Chikungunya, and more recently Zika”

Dr. Joy St. John, Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control at CARPHA speaking at a Workshop to Develop a Regional Network on Surveillance and Diagnosis of Emerging Vector-borne Diseases in the Caribbean

I hope everybody enjoyed their Christmas Dinner as well as Boxing Day! I sure known I did....'cause I've got bad news for y'all!

It's now been reported by PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) to be in the Caribbean island of Martinique as reported in the article “Zika virus reported in Martinique”, published December 24, 2015 by Robert Herriman, Outbreak News Today.

More specifically, they're reporting autochthonous or local transmission, meaning that the Zika Virus is already in the country and is now being transmitted among the islander by the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito:

1.      11th in the Americas to report Zika Virus in 2015
2.      12th to report local transmission of the Zika Virus in 2015

Take a look at this map from the PAHO to get an idea of the spread of the Zika Virus and you'll realize that we're surrounded. It most likely came via Suriname as they had reported five (5) cases of the Zika Virus in November 2015 as noted in the article “Zika virus reported in Martinique”, published Sunday, December 27, 2015, The Jamaica Observer.

This now means that Martinique, which is a part of the Lesser Antilles, are part of an unenviable statistic of countries with local transmission as note in the article “Martinique Joins List Of Regional Countries With Zika Virus Infection”, published Sunday December 27, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner

1.      Brazil
2.      Chile
3.      Colombia
4.      El Salvador
5.      French Guyana
6.      Guatemala
7.      Honduras
8.      Martinique
9.      Mexico
10.  Panama
11.  Paraguay
12.  Suriname
13.  Venezuela

Good to note that with the Zika Virus in Martinique, it would seem that like the Chikungunya Virus, it also loves the French as noted in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Health gearing up for Chikungunya Virus Epidemic - Aedes aegypti Mosquito loves the French as it Island-Hops to Jamaica”.

So what is Jamaica doing in preparation for the Zika Virus?

Jamaica’s preparation for Zika Virus – Minister of Health Horace Dalley play Politics with Zika

Minister of Health Horace Dalley, in his Christmas Message on Friday December 25th 2015, says it's only a matter of time before it comes to Jamaica as noted in the article “No Doubt ZIKV Will Enter Jamaica - Health Minister”, published Friday December 25, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

In fact, there is even the possibility that the Zika Virus is already in Jamaica as argued in my blog article entitled “12 Jamaicans infected with Zika Virus - Why Zika Virus is already Spreading in Jamaica due to Climate Change”.

Since Thursday December 3rd 2015 he's gotten the Parish Councils to mobilize some 1000 Health volunteers to spread the word on eradicating the breeding grounds for the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito as noted in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Health's 1000 Health volunteers for Zika Virus as 1,200 babies in Brazil with microcephaly”. 

Something tell me this is politically motivated ploy to win over young voters, seeing as 72% of new additions to the Voter’s List are between the ages of 18 to 24 years old as noted in my blog article entitled “How Math, Sorrel Shortage of 2015, Dead Babies Scandal and Younger Voters stopped Jamaica's General Election 2015”.

So how bad can this Zika Virus be?

2,400 microcephaly as Brazil declares State of Emergency – Women advised not to get pregnant

Now some 2,400 babies showing signs of microcephaly that seems to correlate with their mothers’ having symptoms of the Zika Virus as noted in the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) “Possible association between Zika virus and microcephaly” 

This correlation is being studied by ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) as detained in “Microcephaly in Brazil potentially linked to the Zika virus epidemic”.

This has forced Brazil to declare a State of Emergency as microcephaly in babies has now taken on epidemic proportions as reported in the article “Brazil declares emergency after 2,400 babies are born with brain damage, possibly due to mosquito-borne virus”, published December 23 2015 By Ariana Eunjung Cha, The Washington Post.

To this end, women in Brazil who show symptoms of the Zika Virus are being warned not to get pregnant as reported in the article “Brazil warns against pregnancy due to spreading virus”, published December 24, 2015, By Shasta Darlington, CNN.

The symptoms of the Zika Virus manifest within three (3) to twelve (12) days after the first bite by an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Symptoms will be seen four (4) to seven (7) days after the initial infection. The symptoms last for up to four (4) weeks or longer:

1.      Conjunctivitis
2.      Fever
3.      Headache
4.      Joint and muscle pain
5.      Rash
6.      Swelling of the lower limbs
7.      Weakness

You have to have a diet that's consistently loaded with Vegetables and fruits that contain Vitamin C as well as taking supplement that contain the vitamin. microcephaly in babies suggests that babies in the womb are susceptible to the Zika Virus as they too have weak immune system i.e. babies, children suffering from an illness or elderly persons with other health problems.

Vitamin C is not a cure all for all diseases as having it as a regular part of your diet boost your immune system and make it able to withstand viral infections as explained in my blog article entitled “Vitamin C and the Chikungunya Virus - How to increase your Vitamin C Intake, Glutathione and Interferon by White Blood Cells”.

Start eating fruits and Vegetables as a regular part of your diet and take Vitamin C supplement to boost your immune system, as the Zika Virus is here! Good to note that reducing the breeding sites for the Aedes Aegypti Virus is key is preventing the spread of the Zika Virus.

Prevention is still key, as by reducing the breeding sites for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, you can reduce the spread of the Zika Virus as show above in the CARPHA Yard Poster.

You can also prevent yourself from getting bitten by disease carrying Aedes Aegypti mosquito by taking the following precautions:

1.      Wearing long-sleeved clothing or long pants
2.      Using DEET insect repellents
3.      Sleeping under mosquito nets

 So how are the parishes coping thus far!?

Preparation by WRHA and Clarendon – Why 2016 will be the year of Zika Virus

Back here in Jamaica, the WRHA (Western Regional Health Authority), which I rarely hear about, is also getting prepared as noted in the article “WRHA Heightens ZIKV Preparedness”, published December 23, 2015 by Sharon Earle, The Jamaica Information Service.

They've increase thier inventory of painkillers and make sure that their laboratory testing facilities are ready to take blood samples of persons coming in with symptoms of the Zika Virus. They've also made sure that their Zika Virus isolation wards have mosquito nets and insect repellent to reduce the rate of spread.

Preparations are also ongoing in earners here in Clarendon, where I live.

According to Medical Officer of Health at the Clarendon Health Department (CHD), Dr Kimberly Scarlett Campbell, the Minister of Health Horace Dalley has assigned same 100 of those Health volunteers to the parish as noted in the article “Clarendon On High Zika Virus Alert”, published Wednesday December 16, 2015, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The Zika Virus did not come in 2015. But 2016, the Year of the Monkey, is most definitely set to be the Year of the Zika Virus in Jamaica!

Here's the link:

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