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UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

_________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 9, 2016

Department of Health Confirms New Case of Zika

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

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. To date, the Department of Health has tested 278 asymptomatic pregnant women for Zika, and has received 52 negative results. Results are pending for the remaining samples. 

Pregnant women and their partners are urged to take steps to prevent Zika infection:

1. See a healthcare provider

You are at risk of getting Zika throughout your pregnancy. For this reason, healthcare providers can refer you for testing at the first prenatal visit and a second test in the second trimester.

If you have symptoms of Zika (fever, rash, joint pain, or red eyes) at any time during your pregnancy, you should be tested for Zika. 

2. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika. The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Remove or stay away from mosquito breeding sites, like containers with standing water.

3. Take steps to prevent getting Zika through sex.

  • Until more is known, pregnant women and their male partners should either use condoms the right way, every time for sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.
  • If a pregnant women is concerned that her male partner may have or had a Zika virus infection, she should talk to her healthcare provider. 

Zika Prevention Kits are available for pregnant women to pick up free of charge from multiple locations on St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. 

The Department of Health is continuing to enhance surveillance and lab testing capacity, partner with local healthcare providers, and educate the community about Zika through public outreach, media and social media.
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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