July 4, 2017 – The Ministry of Health wishes to advise the general public that there have been no documented cases of the ZIKA virus disease in The Bahamas since November, 2016. Environmental monitoring and testing is ongoing. All tests to date for the year 2017 have been negative.
The Ministry further advise that there is a need for continued vigilance and action by individuals, families and communities to prevent mosquito borne diseases such as Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya, as these are all transmitted by the Aedesaegypti mosquito which is found all across The Bahamas.
We are now in the rainy season. The public is being reminded of their essential role in preventing the transmission of Zika by eliminating all breeding sites in and around homes, schools, churches and all other living spaces. This should be done by:
Ø emptying all standing water containers at least once weekly
Ø turning over or covering containers that store water
Ø install or repair and use window and door screens
Ø kill mosquitoes inside your home
Ø wearing long sleeved light colored clothing
Ø usage of mosquito repellents.
Please be reminded that many people infected with the Zika virus will not have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. Muscle pain, and headache may also occur. All persons are at risk for getting Zika and should take necessary measures to prevent mosquito bites. Women of child bearing age are advised to take extra precaution to prevent infection due to possible transmission of the virus to their unborn babies which has been linked to birth defects, as there is also evidence that Zika can be transmitted sexually. Condom use during the entire pregnancy is therefore recommended.
PLEASE PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY
For further information, please contact the Surveillance Unit, Department of Public health at 502-4737, 397-1021, 502-4790, 376-3809 or 376-3970.