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UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

_________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 30, 2016

Thousands of Zika Prevention Resources Distributed at DOH’s Zika Action Days 

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Health (DOH) in collaboration with Walgreens and other partners, such as Spectrum, the Female Health Company, Vector Disease Control International (VDCI), and Ackley Communications, sponsored Zika Action Day events on Friday, August 26th on St. Croix at the Christiansted Fort and on Saturday, August 27th on St. Thomas, in the Walgreens parking lot. Zika Action Day was part of a larger DOH outreach strategy to increase awareness about Zika, in order to reduce the spread of virus in the territory. 

Over 1000 individuals attended the Zika Action Days; Zika prevention information and over 3000 Zika prevention products, including EPA approved repellents, larvicide dunks for standing water and female/male condoms, were distributed within those two (2) days. VDCI was there to explain and demonstrate the mosquito treatment process; as a result 37 additional families scheduled appointments to receive larvicide and vector control treatment at their homes this week. 

Various government agencies also came in support of the cause and participated in opening ceremonies. During the St. Croix event, representatives from the Department of Licensing & Consumer Affairs (Public Information Officer, Astia LeBron), Department of Agriculture (Deputy Commissioner, Arthur Petersen), Department of Public Works (Assistant Commissioner Dennis Brow), Virgin Islands Emergency Management Agency (Director Mona Barnes and Deputy Director of Operations, Denise Lewis) and The Office of the Governor (Director of Communications, Cherie Munchez and Outreach Coordinator for the Hispanic Community, Samuel Carrion) expressed their commitment to assist in the Zika response. Commissioner of the Department of Property & Procurement, Randolph Bennett, Commissioner of the Department of Planning & Natural Resources, Dawn Henry, and Interim Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Waste Management Authority, Steve Aubin, were present during the Zika Action Day event on St. Thomas; they too emphasized the ways their departments have been supportive and how they plan to strengthen the efforts to reduce the spread of the Zika outbreak in the Territory.

Regarding DOH overall outreach efforts, over 1200 Zika Prevention Kits have been distributed to pregnant women throughout the territory and approximately over 7256 EPA approved repellents have been given to the public.

Furthermore, the World Health Organization has declared Zika a global public health emergency. As such the USVI is still experiencing Zika cases. Below you will find current data. 

Territory  Reported  Lab Positive Pregnant Women Lab Negative Lab Pending No Specimen
USVI  761  243

199 STT
40 STX
4 STJ

19

5 presumptive,
14 confirmed

438 74 6

Commissioner Davis stated, “We are in the exponential phase of the Epidemiological curve of the outbreak; which means every week we will have more positive results coming back. At some point the results will peak and then we will be on the other side of the outbreak and will then see a reduction in cases. To date, three (3) women who tested positive for Zika during pregnancy have delivered healthy infants. The Department of Health is monitoring these infants for up to 12 months, to ensure they meet all developmental milestones. Based on current research, greater than 90% of all pregnant women who test positive for Zika will deliver an infant free from the development of microcephaly. Additionally, over 1500 individuals have been tested for Zika in the territory and the majority of the lab results have been negative.”

For more information about Zika Action Day, questions about Zika in USVI, or Zika testing information, please call the Department of Health Emergency Operations Center at 340-712-6205 or visit doh.vi.gov. If you have other questions about Zika, visit the CDC Zika Website at www.cdc.gov/zika or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

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