Sign up for E-Mail Updates
Statements & Releases

UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

_________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 22, 2016

Department of Health Urges Zika Precautions Over Holiday Weekend

The Virgin Islands Department of Health is urging USVI residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites while camping over the holiday weekend. As you prepare for the holiday weekend, DOH is reminding residents that we now have 12 confirmed cases of Zika virus on St. Croix and St. Thomas, as well as seven confirmed cases of dengue on both islands. The mosquito that spreads Zika virus also spreads dengue and chikungunya. It is an aggressive daytime biter, but can also bite at night. It is important you take precautions throughout the day to prevent mosquito bites.

Pack clothing that covers as much of the body as possible, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

Use a repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. See CDCís website for a table of recommended active ingredients and their common names. Reapply insect repellent as directed on the product label, and do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.

Donít forget your sunscreen! Apply sunscreen before applying insect repellent.

Treat your clothing and gear such as boots, pants, socks, sleeping bags and tents, with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated items. If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully. Do not use permethrin products directly on skin; they are intended to treat clothing. Permethrin can be purchased at the St. Croix Home Depot.

Sleep under a mosquito bed net. 

Protect your children and babies from mosquito bites. Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to the childís face.

  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months of age.
  • Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol on children younger than 3 years old.
  • Dress your child in clothing that covers their arms and legs.
  • Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.
  • Do not apply insect repellent onto a childís hands, eyes, mouth, and cut or irritated skin.

Do your part to keep your campsite clean and dispose of trash in appropriate receptacles to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sources. 

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

###

SEARCH the SITE

HOME
 
Privacy Policy
ALERTS & ADVISORIES
 
NEWS & MULTIMEDIA
Audio & Video
Press Releases & Statements
Speeches & Testimony
HEALTH & SAFETY TOPICS
A-Z Health Index
Topics by Category

 

OUR PROGRAMS
 
GRANTS

 

ABOUT US
Department Overview
Commissioner's Office
Calendar of Events
Employment Opportunities
 
CONTACT US