My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Zika Virus confirmed in Portmore, St. Catherine will spread throught Jamaica

Sunday, January 31, 2016

How Zika Virus confirmed in Portmore, St. Catherine will spread throught Jamaica

Yes Jamaicans, time to start stocking up on your DEET spray and Citronella Candles!

The first case of the Zika Virus was confirmed on Saturday January 30th 2016 in no less place than Portmore, St. Catherine as reported in the article “Jamaica confirms first case of Zika virus”, published Saturday, January 30, 2016, The Jamaica Observer and “Jamaica Confirms First Case Of The Zika Virus”, Published Saturday January 30, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

The first victim, a 4-y-o child from Portmore, St Catherine had been treated at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, with samples of his blood and fluids sent to CARPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency) for testing on Tuesday January 26th 2016. According to the Ministry of Health, Saturday January 30th 2016 marks the date when CARPHA has confirmed that he indeed does have the Zika Virus.

The 4-y-o child actually began showing symptoms of the disease as far as Sunday January 17th 2016 after returning from Texas in the US of A, which suggests that he probably caught it in the US. Minister of Health Horace Dalley has promised a full update in a press briefing that will be carried live via Traditional Media on Monday, February 1st, 2016.

So how is the US of A holding up again the Zika virus?

Zika Virus now in 11 States - CDC the only test facility as Zika may be Sexually transmitted

Currently, there are 36 confirmed cases of the Zika Virus in some eleven (11) states as reported in the article “Zika Virus Update: 36 People in US Infected, Houston Woman Recounts Infection”, published January 29 2016 by Gillian Mohney, ABC News

Here’s a detailed primer on the Zika Virus to get you up to speed in case you’ve been living under a rock for some time!

Evidence is now emerging that suggests that the Zika Virus may be sexually transmitted as noted in the article “Zika Virus: Two Cases Suggest It Could Be Spread Through Sex”, published January 25 2016 by Donald G. Mcneil jr, New York Times.

The sexually transmitted nature of the Zika Virus was predicted some time ago in my blog article entitled “Why 8 Barbadians possibly with Zika Virus and 66 dead from H1N1 means Jamaica by February 2016”. So condom use is a must!

There is no commercial test, no vaccine and no cure for the Zika Virus in the US of A albeit work has begun in earnest for a Vaccine similar to those for Chikungunya, Influenza and Dengue Fever as noted in the article “Research into possible vaccine for Zika virus begins”, published Thursday January 28, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Most of the testing for the Zika Virus in the Caribbean done by CARPHA as explained in the article “ZIKV FACTS: CARPHA outlines testing method for Zika virus”, Published Wednesday January 27, 2016, The Jamaica Gleaner  is done using one of two methods:

1.      Polymerase chain reaction
2.      Immunoglobulin

These tests have to be carried out at the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), making controlling the spread difficult as noted in the article “How to cut off the spread of a Zika virus”, published January 26, 2016 By Ford Vox, CNN

So how well will Jamaica fare against the Zika Virus?

Zika Virus in Jamaica - Many suspect Zika Virus in Jamaica long before

My prediction that the Zika Virus would have begun spreading in the south of US of A has come to pass.

This is going to spread rapidly, especially given their rain weather as prophesied in my blog article entitled “Why the US of A must fear Zika Virus as Dominica and Jamaica next by February 2016”.  

However, it seems a bit odd that it didn't start from one of the small island countries from which people frequently travel such as Haiti, a source of illegal immigrants to the island as predicted in my blog article entitled “Why Haiti and Guyana Zika Virus cases means Jamaica will get Zika Virus by Valentine's Day”.

Word-on-the-street suggests that it may possibly have come to Jamaica long before this official announcement, reminiscent of how the Chikungunya Virus had started from a Florida traveller who came from Puerto Rico back in July 2014 as noted in my blog article entitled “Chikungunya Virus now confirmed in Jamaica - Female Traveller From Florida via Puerto Rico and How to fight Chic-V”.

Jamaica now makes it sixteen (16) on the list of countries in the Caribbean Region that have reported an infection of the Zika Virus:

1.      Brazil
2.      Colombia
3.      El Salvador
4.      French Guiana
5.      Guatemala
6.      Guyana
7.      Haiti
8.      Honduras
9.      Jamaica
10.  Martinique
11.  Mexico
12.  Panama
13.  Paraguay
14.  Puerto Rico
15.  Suriname
16.  Venezuela

Already in Zika Virus is spreading at an alarmingly rapid rate in South America and the rest of the world according to the WHO (World Health Organization) in the article “Zika virus ‘spreading explosively’ — WHO”, published Friday, January 29, 2016, The Jamaica Observer.

The condition of microcephaly, where babies are born with shrunken heads, potentially causing learning and developmental disabilities and leading to death, is exploding in Brazil, where the link was first noted as reported in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Health's 1000 Health volunteers for Zika Virus as 1,200 babies in Brazil with microcephaly”. 
Cases of microcephaly may soon explode in Colombia.

This as some 2100 cases of pregnant women contracting the Zika Virus have been reported in that country as noted in the article “Colombia Reports More Than 2,100 Pregnant Women Have Zika Virus”, published January 30 2016 by Reuters, New York Times.

Check out this map showing the spread of the Zika Virus globally.

So is this the beginning of the spread of the Zika virus in the Western Hemisphere? And will the Zika Virus go global?

Zika Virus in Portmore - Jamaican spread to result in baby deaths

The Ministry of Health is investigating this case to determine the source of the infection.

The Ministry of Health has budgeted some JA$200 million to fight the spread of the Zika Virus as reported in the article “Zika virus preparedness in Jamaica gets multi-million-dollar injection”, published January 22, 2016, Caribbean360 and “Health Ministry estimates J$200-million Zika budget”, published Wednesday January 20, 2016, RJR News Online.

So far, the 4-y-o boy’s parents and immediate relatives are not showing signs of illness but testing is expanding as reported in the article “ZIKV arrives - One case confirmed, scores more being tested”, published Sunday January 31, 2016 by Nadine Wilson-Harris, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Already, the Ministry of Health has labled some parishes at high risk of getting the Zika Virus as reported in the article “7 parishes declared high-risk areas for Zika virus”, published Thursday, January 21, 2016 by Kimberely Hibbert, The Jamaica Observer:

1.      Kingston
2.      St Andrew
3.      St Catherine
4.      St Thomas
5.      Clarendon
6.      Manchester
7.      Westmoreland

Zika Virus take four (4) to seven (7) days after the initial infection and 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

Jamaicans characterize as high-risk need to be especially vigilant against the Zika Virus, as they need to prepare themselves to be very ill from this otherwise mild illness as explained in the article “High Risk Persons Urged to be Extra Vigilant against Zikv”, published January 22, 2016 By Rochelle Williams, The Jamaica Information Service.

The very vulnerable are the following Jamaicans:

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

A diet loaded with Vegetables and fruits that contain Vitamin C can 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”.

This might not be enough, however, as I currently take Vitamin C and Vitamin B12 Complex to boost my chances of survival as noted in my blog article entitled “Why the US of A must fear Zika Virus as Dominica and Jamaica next by February 2016”. 

Women are being advised to not get pregnant for at least a year or until the Zika Virus epidemic is over to reduce the risk of their child being born with the birth defect microcephaly associate with the Zika Virus as reported in the article “Delay your pregnancy for 6 to 12 months’”, published Tuesday, January 19, 2016, The Jamaica Observer.

This is following on the pregnancy bans in countries such as Colombia, Ecuador and El Salvador where the Zika Virus is spreading like wildfire as noted in the article “Zika virus triggers pregnancy delay calls”, published 23 January 2016, BBC News

The MOH is doing the necessary checks in the community in Portmore, St, Catherine, increasing their vector control activities to reduce the population of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. This might not work so well, as Portmore is loaded with canals and lots of water.

Western end of Jamaica ready for Zika – Island Spread expected to affect many

Still, preparations are ongoing in the Western end of Jamaica with the parish of Hanover leading the way as noted in “Hanover heightens vector control activities as ZIKV looms”, published Thursday, January 28, 2016 by Anthony Lewis, The Jamaica Observer.

Already, preparations are in full swing at the CRH (Cornwall Regional Hospital) in Montego Bay, St James to handle cases of the Zika Virus including pregnant women as noted in the article “CRH ready to handle Zika virus – says hospital and WRHA”, published Tuesday January 26, 2016 by Christopher Thomas, The Jamaica Gleaner.

People in Portmore can reduce their chances of being bitten by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito by:

1.      Wearing long-sleeved clothing or long pants
2.      Using DEET insect repellents
3.      Sleeping under mosquito nets
4.      Removing or covering container that can hold water

Reducing the breeding places for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito is important in curtailing the spread of the Zika Virus as shown in the CARPHAYard Poster below.

Worse the rains have begun to fall in recent days, creating the perfect storm for a major outbreak of the Zika Virus in Jamaica.

Already, an emergency meeting of the WHO (World Health Organization) slated for Monday February 1st 2016 is being foreshadowed by talk of the Zika Virus being a North and South American Epidemic worse than Ebola in Africa as noted in the article “Zika virus could be bigger global health threat than Ebola, say health experts”, published Saturday 30 January 2016 by Robin McKie, The UK Guardian.

2016 is definately looking like the year of the Zika Virus in Jamaica.

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