CMO Says Foreign Media Reports On Zika Affecting Tourism Economy

(ZIZ News) — Reports produced about the Zika virus by the foreign media are taking a major toll on tourism economies across the region.

That’s according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Martin, who says while the effect on newborns on babies is tragic, the media is not reporting on the likelihood of its occurrence.

“Babies born with small heads, you can imagine the emotions the families are going through. Unfortunately, the international media is not telling that it’s a minority of pregnancies that are being affected. The latest numbers I’m seeing out of Brazil suggests less than one percent, actually 0.4% of pregnancies are having this outcome,” he said.

The CMO says the lack of information in reporting is also causing vacationers to cancel flights to St. Kitts and neighbouring islands.

He said “the other effect its having is that there have been massive visitor cancellations; not only in St. Kitts and Nevis but throughout the Caribbean,” adding that “The U.S CDC (Centre for Disease Control) issued this travel advisory warning pregnant females and females contemplating pregnancy, and somehow that has morphed into nobody should travel to the Caribbean and people started cancelling their vacations. This is something that we have to address with our U.S. counterparts.”

According to Dr. Martin, health officials are still working to confirm whether or not small heads in babies are in fact linked to the Zika virus transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito.

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