First case of Zika on Saba

The first case of Zika was confirmed on Saba last week, writes The Daily Herald.

The patient has a travel history to an island where Zika is present in the days before her symptoms started, so she was most likely infected there, said authorities.
To prevent further transmission of the virus on Saba, the patient was directly instructed to take measures to prevent mosquito bites.

The number of mosquitoes on Saba is relatively low. This further reduces the chance of the virus spreading to other people on Saba.

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The Public Health Department urges anyone feeling ill, especially with a fever, rash, eye infection or joint pain, to see one of the doctors at Saba Health Care Foundation.

Authorities said this case of Zika is a strong reminder for everyone, especially pregnant women, travelling to areas with Zika to take measures to prevent mosquito bites. Measures include the use of insect repellents on exposed skin and where possible, wear light coloured long-sleeved shirts and long pants, socks and shoes to minimize exposed skin. Also when indoors, residents are urged to use air conditioning or a fan if available and keep the doors and windows closed, unless they are screened, to keep out mosquitoes.

Upon return to Saba, practice safe sex during at least two months as the virus can be sexually transmitted by men.

Commissioner of Health Rolando Wilson said: “Everyone on Saba has a task to keep Zika out. Without mosquitoes there can be no disease, so remove, treat, cover or empty any open containers on your property on a weekly basis. And don’t litter, as empty bottles or cans can be perfect breeding grounds too.”

Click here to read how the Public Health Department of Saba fights mosquito issues.

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