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Zika Continues to Spread in the U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Lucia

Us Virgin Islands Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michelle Davis

U.S. Virgin Islands Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michelle Davis (Photo via Virgin Islands Consortium)

ST THOMAS, USVI — The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health has reported two new cases of zika in the territory. According to the weekly zika surveillance report, the total number of confirmed positive cases in the USVI is now 26: 16 cases on St. Croix, nine cases on St. Thomas and one on St. John. There was also one new case of dengue confirmed this week.

Meanwhile, in Saint Lucia, the chief medical officer issued a press release and statement concerning the zika virus disease in the island, indicating that eight cases have been confirmed.

To date, 690 pregnant women in the USVI have received zika testing, in which one pregnant woman has currently been confirmed positive.

“The Department of Health continues to be proactive in providing education on ways of prevention, free testing, free inspections (to include larvicide treatments), and free zika prevention kits for pregnant women and individuals exhibiting symptoms (such as fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes),” said Dr. Michelle S. Davis, Commissioner of the Department of Health.

In February 2016, the department activated the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate all zika response efforts and field media/public inquiries. Additionally, they have been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen efforts to track the outbreak, enhance laboratory services for faster testing results and educate the populace.

“At the DOH we will continue to stress the importance of protecting ourselves, our loved ones and our islands from the possible devastating health effects of this virus and encourage our residents, especially pregnant women in the territory, to take advantage of the free services offered by the Department of Health,” Davis stated.

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