A billboard reading ‘You have a guest…’ and featuring a picture of a mosquito as part of a campaign to fight against the Zika virus in Les Trois-Ilets, in the French overseas department of Martinique. (Photo credit: NICOLAS DERNE/AFP/Getty Images)
By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. May 17, 2016: The Zika virus continues to significantly affect at several Caribbean nations with four in the French Caribbean reporting an increase in suspected cases in just the past 19 days and one reporting its first confirmed case. Here are the five:
This French Caribbean territory continues to feel the brunt of this mosquito borne disease. As of April 28, 2016, 20, 980 suspected cases have been reported, an increase of 1, 600 in just over a week. Since the beginning of the outbreak to April 28, 2016, two microcephaly cases and one additional congenital abnormality have been reported with confirmed Zika virus infection. Additionally, 14 cases with neurological complications have been detected in Zika virus confirmed cases. Martinique has registered a total of 205 pregnant women with laboratory confirmed Zika virus disease.
2: French Guiana
French Guiana, another Caribbean French territory, was second with the number of suspected Zika cases in the region. As of April 28, 2016, 4, 860 suspected cases were reported, an increase of 300 in a week. Three cases with neurological complications have been identified since the beginning of the outbreak.
The third most suspected Zika cases have been reported in Guadeloupe. As of April 28, 2016, 2,099 suspected and 412 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported, an increase of 418 suspected and 72 laboratory-confirmed cases over a week. One case with neurological complications has been reported since the beginning of the outbreak.
4: St Martin
French St. Martin, had a reported 212 suspected and 61 laboratory-confirmed cases as of April 28, 2016, an increase of 29 suspected and 7 laboratory-confirmed cases since last week. One case with neurological complications has been reported but this could not be directly attributed to Zika.
5: St Barthélemy
The popular luxury tourism island of St. Barts reported its first confirmed case as of April 28, 2016.
Meanwhile, according to the European Centers for Disease Controle, there is now a scientific consensus that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Given this scientific consensus the ECDC recommends that pregnant women postpone non-essential travel to Zika-affected areas.
The Zika virus disease (Zika) is a disease caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
The Zika virus was first discovered in 1947 and is named after the Zika Forest in Uganda. In 1952, the first human cases of Zika were detected and since then, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Zika outbreaks have probably occurred in many locations. Before 2007, at least 14 cases of Zika had been documented, although other cases were likely to have occurred and were not reported. Because the symptoms of Zika are similar to those of many other diseases, many cases may not