A 75-year-old man has become Suriname’s fourth casualty of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
The director of the Public Health Bureau (BOG), Lesly Resida said that the man died over the weekend at the Academic Hospital, and had also shown symptoms of other health problems.
The virus is characterised as a viral disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that causes fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea and rash.
Earlier this month, health officials here said that from October last year, 103 people had been tested positive for the Zika virus.
The US Center for Disease Control this week issued a health advisory warning pregnant women to postpone travel to any area where the Zika virus is present.
On the other hand, the first case of the zika virus in French St. Martin has been biologically confirmed to health authority Agence Regional de Santé (ARS) of Guadeloupe, St. Martin and St. Barths by a laboratory in Marseilles, with another case confirmed in Guadeloupe.
The victims are a man residing in St. Martin and a girl in Grand Terre, Guadeloupe. St. Barths also has three suspected cases registered.
The French Institute for Public Health, L’Insitut de Veille Sanitaire (INVS), which already has published two bulletins on zika in the Antilles-Guiana region, said, “In all likelihood, the virus is going to spread rapidly throughout the Caribbean.”
Zika was confirmed in French Guiana and Martinique at the end of December.
Martinique has 47 biologically confirmed cases and 610 suspected cases. The virus is better contained in French Guiana for the moment, where 15 local cases are confirmed and 12 imported.
ARS reminds the public that preventative measures to take for zika are the same as those for dengue and chikungunya. The priority is to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes by throwing out stagnant water in flower pots, old car tyres, covering cisterns, etc.
Long pants and long-sleeved clothing should be worn to prevent mosquito bites, and mosquito repellent should be used liberally. Mosquito nets around the beds indoors also can help.
Senator Guillaume Arnell expressed his concern to Minister of Health Marisol Tourraine on Tuesday over the almost certain proliferation of a zika epidemic in the Caribbean, urging her to ensure health authorities in the Antilles-Guiana region are fully mobilised for an epidemic.
Source/Caribbean News Service-The Daily Herald