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UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

_________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 15, 2016

Department of Health Confirms Four New Cases of Zika on St. Croix

As reported in today’s Zika surveillance report, the Virgin Islands Department of Health confirmed four additional cases of Zika on St. Croix, bringing the total to 11 cases. No new cases of dengue were reported this week; the total remains 7 confirmed dengue cases. 

“The Department of Health also continues to test pregnant women without symptoms of Zika. As of this week, 358 samples have been received from pregnant women, of those 225 results are pending. Two were symptomatic and these were both confirmed as dengue,” stated Deputy Commissioner Kimberly Jones.
The Department of Health continues to raise awareness and educate the community about Zika prevention and the DOH response. This morning, Deputy Commissioner Juan Figueroa-Serville, CDC Communication Specialist Jessica Schindelar and Pastor Samuel Carrion were on Papi Love show Latino 91.9 FM to share important Zika prevention information with the Hispanic community. 

Commissioner Nominee, Dr. Michelle Davis would like to stress the importance of individual actions that everyone can take to help prevent Zika virus here in the US Virgin Islands. “There is no vaccine to prevent Zika virus disease. The best way to prevent diseases spread by mosquitoes is to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites,” added Dr. Davis. 

Here’s how:

1. Wear clothes that cover as much of the body as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

2. Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
3. Treat clothing and gear with permethrin.

4. Use a repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. This includes women who are pregnant and breastfeeding. See CDC’s website for a table of recommended active ingredients and their common names. We do not know the effectiveness of many natural insect repellents.

5. Eliminate standing water in and around the home to reduce mosquito breeding sites.

“See your doctor if you develop symptoms (fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes) of Zika as soon as possible. Seeking care early, within the first few days of experiencing symptoms, can aid in more rapid diagnosis. If you are sick, it is also important to protect yourself and other from mosquito bites. During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in a person’s blood and can pass from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites. An infected mosquito can then spread the virus to other people. To help prevent others from getting sick, avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness by strictly following the steps above to prevent mosquito bites” concluded Deputy Commissioner Jones. 

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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