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UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

_________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 18, 2016

Department of Health Officials Meet to Discuss Zika Preparedness

The Department of Health is awaiting the results of additional Zika tests from CDC, but continues to work with CDC to prepare to respond to Zika, standing up the Emergency Operations Center, conducting public outreach and educating local healthcare providers about Zika. 

Yesterday, Dr. Michelle Davis, Department of Health Commissioner Nominee, Acting Commissioner Juan Figueroa-Serville, Deputy Commissioner Kimberly Jones and Dr. Esther Ellis, Territorial Epidemiologist met with Governor Kenneth E. Mapp, and Department of Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Dawn Henry and federal officials from the EPA, including Region II Director Judith Enck, to discuss vector control plans and Zika preparedness. 

Department of Health officials also attended a public town hall meeting last night, hosted by St. Croix West Rotary Club in Frederiksted to update community members about the Department’s efforts to fight Zika. Francine Lang, Director of Public Health Preparedness, representing the department, along with other USVI government directors and commissioners, answered questions about Zika and the Department’s response. Department of Health officials, including Dr. Brett Ellis, Director of Public Health Laboratories, and Stevie Webster, Chief Environmental Health Officer, were joined by CDC officials. Community members asked questions about the Zika virus, as well as for details about the first case on St. Croix, which was confirmed on January 19, 2016. 

For local information about Zika Virus, call the Department of Health Emergency Operations Center at (340) 712-6205. For more general information about the Zika Virus call toll free: 1-800-CDC-INFO. 

If you have symptoms of Zika (fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes) or are pregnant, please see your local Primary Care Provider. The Department of Health has partnered with many clinics so that testing for Zika virus is available free of charge. The Department of Health continues to provide testing for the Zika virus as well.

Additional information

DOH's Special section on Zika

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

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