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UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

_________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 21, 2016

Department of Health Confirms First Case of Zika on St. Thomas

The Virgin Islands Department of Health received confirmation over the weekend of a case positive for Zika virus in a 39 year old male on St. Thomas. “The Department anticipates additional cases will be confirmed as new lab results come back from the CDC. To date, 243 total samples have been received from St. Thomas and St. John district. Of these, 45 were received from symptomatic individuals. The DOH has also received test results for 9 samples: two of which were dengue positive as previously reported, and the one Zika positive case we are reporting today; the remaining six were negative” stated Commissioner Nominee Michelle Davis, PhD.

In addition, “the Department of Health continues to test pregnant women without symptoms of Zika. As of today, DOH has received samples for 402 pregnant women. Lab results have been received for 152, and all have been negative, except for the two previously reported dengue positives. No cases of Zika have been confirmed in pregnant women. CDC has recommended all asymptomatic pregnant women residing in areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission be tested at the initiation of prenatal care with follow-up testing mid-second trimester,” added Kimberly Jones, Deputy Commissioner 

The Department of Health has been preparing for additional cases in the territory and taking steps to educate the public on how to protect themselves from mosquito bites to prevent the virus from spreading further, including increasing public outreach and education on St. Thomas and St. John over the past two weeks. The Department of Health has been preparing by: 

Enhancing surveillance and lab testing capacity to detect cases. DOH is working in collaboration with CDC to expand local capacity to conduct initial Zika testing on St. Croix.

Providing clinical recommendations and reinforcing healthcare infection control and other measures with local healthcare providers across all three islands. 

Educating the community about Zika through public outreach, media and social media. DOH and CDC officials will attend an upcoming public town hall on St. John on March 30 to share information with the community about Zika prevention.

Administering local implementation of the CDC contract for vector control.

The Department of Health continues to distribute Zika Prevention Kits for pregnant women in the territory. As of today a total of 104 kits have been distributed from the initial 250 kits shipped by CDC earlier this month. Additional kits will be delivered in the coming weeks. Pregnant women can pick-up the free kits at the following locations:

St. Croix
Department of Health MCH Clinic 
Department of Health WIC Clinic
Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center 
Frederiksted Health Center 

St. John
Health Care Connection 
Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center 
Morris F. de Castro Clinic

St. Thomas
Department of Health MCH Clinic (Pediatric) 
Department of Health Community Health Clinic (Prenatal) 
Roy Lester Schneider Hospital 
East End Medical Center

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)

Instructions for Reporting Suspected Zika Cases to USVI Department of Health
Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika Reporting Form

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