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Zika Virus

Zika virus, originally identified in 1947 from Zika forest of Uganda, is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes are found throughout tropical regions of the world and are the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and Chikungunya viruses. Mosquitoes become infected with the Zika virus when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Zika virus infection.

Outbreaks of Zika have occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Because the Aedes species mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will spread to new countries. To date, Zika virus has been reported in several countries and territories in the Americas. Brazil is investigating the possible association between Zika virus infection and cases of microcephaly (smaller than expected head size) in infants. 

The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Infection is thought to provide lifelong immunity. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Deaths are rare. Travelers returning from areas with Zika activity should seek medical care if they experience a fever and symptoms of infection. Health care providers in areas with reported cases should be on the alert for possible cases.

If you have symptoms of Zika 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.

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.

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Forms and Downloads
Instructions for Reporting Suspected Zika Cases to USVI Department of Health
Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika Reporting Form (EPI-2)
Zika Laboratory Testing Locations 
The Department of Health has partnered with several clinics and labs to provide Zika virus testing at no cost to patients. Pregnant women and their partners, and people who develop symptoms of Zika virus (fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes) should see their healthcare provider discuss their risk for Zika and their testing and care options. You and your partner can get a free Zika test at the following locations. Those in bold only provide testing to pregnant women:

St. Croix

Acute Alternative Medical Group 
340-772-2883

Beeston Hill Clinical Lab 
340-773-4990

Clinical Laboratory, Inc. (Sunny Isle)
340-778-5369

Department of Health, Charles Harwood Complex (Old Hospital)
340-712-6205

Frederiksted Health Care, Inc
340-772-0260

St. John

Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center 
340-693-8900

St. Thomas

Community Medical Laboratory
340-776-7444

Cranston/Dottin Biomedical Laboratory
340-774-6256

Doctors Clinical Laboratory
340-774-2760

Havensight Medical Laboratory
340-774-5515

Department of Health, Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Prenatal Clinic
340-774-7477, Extension 2065

Facilities not listed above that want to participle in the testing program and be reimbursed for their services should contact the Department of Health Emergency Operations Center at 712-6205.

Zika Prevention Kit (ZPK) Distribution Sites
If you are pregnant, your OB/GYN or the Department of Health will also provide you with a free Zika Prevention Kit (ZPK). If you do not get one from your OB/GYN, you can get your ZPK at the following locations:

St. Croix

Department of Health, Charles Harwood Complex (Old Hospital)
340-712-6205

Frederiksted Health Care, Inc.
340-772-0260

St. John

Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center
340-693-8900

St. Thomas

Department of Health, Maternal and
Child Health (MCH) Prenatal Clinic
340-774-7477, Extension 2065

If you are pregnant, the Department of Health will also spray for mosquitoes around your home, which can reduce your chance of getting bitten. After you are tested for Zika, the Department of Health will contact you to arrange for spraying around your home. Call the Zika hotline at 712-6205 for more information.

Additional Zika Resources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Microsite

Additional Information from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

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