My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why 8 Barbadians possibly with Zika Virus and 66 dead from H1N1 means Jamaica by February 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Why 8 Barbadians possibly with Zika Virus and 66 dead from H1N1 means Jamaica by February 2016

“The fact that the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus, is the same mosquito that spreads dengue fever and chikungunya, we are all very familiar with the prevention and control measures which we need to undertake… Inspect your surroundings to  search out and remove mosquito-breeding places on your properties. The Ministry of Health recommends that this should be done once per week.”

Minister of Health John Boyce in a Press conference on Friday January 8th 2015

The Zika Virus is getting closer and closer every day, as it's currently in Martinique as noted in my blog article entitled “Why Zika Virus in Martinique means 2016 the Year of Zika Virus in Jamaica”. 

It's now in Barbados with eight (8) Bajans possibly infected by the virus as reported in the article “Barbados monitors 8 suspected cases of Zika virus”, published Saturday, January 09, 2016, The Jamaica Observer.

Their Barbadian Ministry of Health has send the samples of the suspected eight (8) to CARPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency) and plan to share the results with the rest of the nation as soon as they become available. If confirmed, they'll become the 14th nation to register a local transmission of the Zika Virus as reported in the article “Zika threat”, published January 9, 2016 Emmanuel Joseph, Barbados Today.

This will bring the total number of Latin American and Caribbean nations that have registered the Zika Virus to fourteen (14).

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

So said Minister of Health John Boyce in a Press conference on Friday January 8th 2015, quote: “As of January 2, 2016, 14 member-states and territories of the Americas have confirmed local transmission of Zika virus. In Barbados, there are eight suspected cases and these samples will be sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for confirmatory testing”.

So what are the Bajans planning to do to combat the Zika Virus, should it come to their island?

Eight suspected of Zika Virus in Barbados – Jamaica to get Zika Virus by Valentine’s Day

Meanwhile there are now 66 cases of H1N1 in Barbados, which is regarded by the Senior Medical Health Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr Arthur Phillips as a mild virus, quote: “The flu season goes from the end of one year to the beginning of the next year, and each year there are outbreaks of the flu… The Ministry of Health has mechanisms through which it monitors and reviews possible influenza cases and analyses this data on a weekly basis”.

The main concern in the Zika Virus, which not only is responsible for microcepahly in babies but may also be sexually transmitted as reported in the article “Zika virus may be transmitted through sex”, published Sunday, January 10, 2016 by Derrick Aarons, The Jamaica Observer.

Both the Zika Virus as well as Influenza A (H1N1) albeit transmitted differently, will predominantly affect the same set of people:

1.      Babies
2.      Children suffering from an illness
3.      Elderly persons with other health problems

The symptoms for the Zika Virus which are seen four (4) to seven (7) days after the initial infection and last for up to four (4) weeks or longer, are a bit milder:

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

Reducing the breeding sites for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is the best preventative measure in reducing the spread of the Zika Virus as show in the CARPHA Yard Poster below.

There are also measures that you can take to reduce the chance of being bitten by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito:

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

Finally taking Vitamin C and B12 vitamins will also help.

This is my current strategy ever since Dominica started fretting, Puerto Rico reported a case and the US of A is getting ready to welcome the Zika Virus as noted in my blog article entitled “Why the US of A must fear Zika Virus as Dominica and Jamaica next by February 2016”.
How long before it comes to Jamaica is a matter of speculation, but predict by Valentine's Day in February 2016!

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