(Antigua Observer) Dominicans have been warned to take series precautions against the mosquito borne Zika virus.
The warning has come from Environmental Health Officer, Morrison McPherson who pointed out that the virus is getting closer to Dominica as the neighbouring island of Martinique has become the latest country in the region to report confirmed cases.
“Let us not wait until we are affected by these diseases, it might be too costly to take care of it,” McPherson said during recent radio interview.
“The pain that you experience and sometimes in rare cases, God forbid it, can lead to death. That is what we do not want to happen.”
The virus is spread by the Aedis Egypti mosquito and McPherson noted that measures must be taken to prevent breeding of the insect.
“Let us take in front and prevent these animals responsible from getting the right content that they need in order to breed and increase their population.”
McPherson explained that when the population of the mosquito increases it also increases the risk of the spread of diseases.
Another warning came from Chief Environmental Officer, Anthony Scotland who said the disease could have a serious effect on pregnant women.
“Zika is almost mild but in terms of women, that is the other complication because it is mild, you can have the disease and do not know, but it can affect your fetus ….” he explained. “These vectors are deadly, dangerous and we need to continue to manage our containers around Dominica.”
Zika is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalisation is uncommon. Symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.