The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment advises that there has been the confirmation of five (5) new cases of the Zika virus here in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, increasing the overall number of Laboratory confirmed cases to a total of eight (8) to date.
The last five confirmed cases have all come from the Grenadine island of Bequia, and as a consequence, the Ministry of Health has increased its surveillance and response activities to address this rising number of cases.
The aedes aegypti mosquito transmits the Zika virus. It lives inside and around houses, and reproduces in any object containing still water. The incubation of the mosquito requires 7 to 10 days, and once born the insect can live up to 6 weeks. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes lay their eggs every 3 or 4 days. A female may lay as many as 400 eggs over her lifetime. The eggs can resist drought conditions for over a year, and then evolve into mosquitoes when in contact with water. The mosquito is most active and the risk of bites is greatest in the early morning and also in the early evening.
The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment continues to intensify its efforts in a targeted manner and urges the public to continue to take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
Dr. Rosmond Adams, Epidemiologist, expresses how important it is for citizens to remain vigilant and not let down their guard, and that they continue to take all measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites, thus reducing the possibility of contracting the virus. He also reiterates that source reduction is critical if we are to win this fight against Zika.